Thomas "Ace" Hanzes is Featured on Vietnam Reflections
When he arrived in Vietnam, Hanzes encountered intense fighting.
He saw plenty of sights and sounds and they remain with him today.
He told Erie News Now, "When you are young, you don't think about dying. I thought I was tough, but when I got there, I was anything but tough."
Hanzes attained the rank of Specialist in Military Intelligence and Interrogation.
"During the daytime, they were your friend and at night, you didn't know who was your friend. It was a very trying experience."
His tour of duty lasted 12 months and when he returned to the United States, he had a new assignment of training soldiers.
"I can't help but wonder, why my name is not on that Vietnam Wall in D.C., a little bit of luck and the grace of God are the only reasons I am sitting here with you."
"Ace" has been a member of the Reynolds VFW Post 7599 for decades, serving as Quartermaster and Chief Financial Officer.
He is certainly proud of his service. "In the late 70's and early 80's, no one wanted to be a Vietnam Vet, now everyone wants to be one."