Richard “Doc” Del Valle volunteered for the army as a medic. Upon arriving in Vietnam, Doc was given a choice of going to Alpha Troop or Bravo Troop as they were both in need of new medics. It was luck of the draw that landed Doc with Apache Troop. He served fifteen months in country and was with Apache Troop for some of their most noteworthy battles.
One of those battles was the day Sgt. Kregg Jorgenson was shot in front of a CBS News crew. Just as he did many times during the war, Doc charged headlong into the battle to get to Kregg and patch up his wounds. Yes, as it says in the video, he was scared knowing he was going to have to run towards the gunfire. As he says himself, “If you weren’t scared, there’s something wrong with you.” It was that type of heroism that earned Doc two Bronze Stars and a Combat Medics Badge.
Upon returning home from the war, Doc left his medical career behind and joined his family’s flower importation business. Due to a sad twist of fate, the rest of the team was misinformed that he had passed away. In a time before internet or social media, the misinformation was taken as truth and was estranged from his fellow veterans for over forty years. It wasn’t until a few years ago that he was able to track them down. He jokes that they must have felt like they were talking to a ghost when he randomly called them one night. The first time he was able to see them all again though, it was like they had never been apart.
He is now happily retired and living in Florida.