Northwestern High School Graduate, Alan Copeland Served in the Army for 19 Months: Remembering Our Veterans
Our new year long series, Remembering our Veterans, continues with the story of Alan Copeland.
Now 73 years old, this 1967 graduate of Northwestern High School served his country on two different occasions.
"You know what was amazing about it," said Copeland. "I wasn't even mad at those people I was shooting at."
Copeland served 19 months in the army, including a 13 month tour of duty in Vietnam. And a band of brothers was born.
"I didn't event take an R & R until I had ten months in the bush because I did not want to be there when they got in trouble," shared Copeland.
For the last 23 years, he's still in contact with the soldiers the people he served with 53 years ago.
"My infantry company Alpha Company 199th Flight Brigade we get together every two years," said Copeland. "Since 2000."
Emotional, tough as nails, but Alan also has a great sense of timing to find that lighter moment.
"One guy said to me, you are not going to make it, you are too tall, they'll shoot you," said Copeland. "I thought if he is the PR guy he should be fired and it's going to be a long year."
After he retired from the Erie County Prison, running security institution, he took a corrections position in Afghanistan, working for a government contractor.
"The one jail I worked in had 9,000 political prisoners and they wanted to kill you all the time they were always yelling that," said Copeland. "They never laid a hand on me."
Copeland worked 18 months for that contractor before finally calling it a career and has not worked since, spending all of his time with family.
Thank you for your service Alan Copeland and welcome home.