American Valor
Drew Dix
Interview Excerpt

What motivated me to join the service was my admiration for my father. And his service in the military. But when I went into high school, I was in ROTC. And there was a sergeant there that I thought the world of. And um, when it came right down to it he is the one that told, that, that showed me that, that I could do anything. And, and he was successful, because when I joined the military I knew I could do anything, he convinced me that I could.

I was a Staff Sergeant, assigned to Central Intelligence Agency. I was in the Intelligence business. And my business was to know what was going on, where the enemy was. We were there to capture 'em.

The only people I had at my disposal were the indigenous Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Chinese. Now I had a unit of 137 at the time, but I only had about at that point about six of them with me. Because there was a complete breakdown of the defenses, and it was a ceasefire. And, and my troops as well as a lot of others were out celebrating.

[DRILL SERGEANT 2: Learning that a nurse was trapped in a house near the center of the city, Staff Sergeant Dix organized a relief force.]

DREW DIX: Had a lot of admiration for her, she was a gutsy person. And when we were told that she was probably killed, then we had to find out. You know, we can't just say okay, she's dead and let's go do something else. We're gonna find out, what happened to Maggie.

There was so much lead in the air, it was absolutely incredible. You could hear the bullets smacking through leaves and trees, you know. The international scout that they'd given her to drive, sitting in front of the vehicle must have had more than a thousand bullet holes in it. Tires flat, windshield out.

Went up to the front gate, had these iron gates, and it was locked. And uh, bullets were smacking around the, the front of the building. As we drove up an enemy had been shooting out of the, the living room window, uh, of her house, and ducked back in. And there was this soft yell, almost softly, how do you describe it? and it was Maggie.

She opened the door and ran to this iron gate and, and couldn't get it open. I mean it was, it was a substantial gate, it was not gonna budge.

And I said get the key. And I knew how dumb that must have sounded, but she turned around - And she came over there to, to op- open, unlock the door, her hand was shaking so much, and to reach in there. Now you gotta realize at this time there was bullets flying all over the place. I don't know how the hell they missed us. Anyway I steadied her hand, and she unlocked the door-

You go to war for your country. Because your country sends you. But when it comes right down to it, when you make sacrifices, you make 'em for the one, your buddy on the left and the buddy on the right. Because they're doing the same for you. In combat you're seeing a side of an individual that no one else will ever see. And they know on the other hand, that they're seeing you in a situation that no one else will ever see. Those friendships are, are, are as strong as anything I can imagine. They're, they're stronger than family in a lot of respects.

You know, I'm standing here only because of them. There was, there was so much going on, that if somebody wasn't covering my rear or left or my right, I wouldn't be here today.

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