• 75°

Glaster served in Vietnam with Hawk missile unit

Note: This article appeared in the Oct. 14 edition of the “Redstone Rocket.” This article was written by “Redstone Rocket” editor Skip Vaughn and reprinted by permission. (skip.vaughn@theredstonerocket.com)

MADISON – Birmingham native William Glaster received his draft notice as a senior at Brighton High School. After graduating in 1972, he entered the Army on the delayed entry program.

College wasn’t an option. His mother raised seven children. Glaster was the oldest son. He never knew his father.

Glaster completed basic training at Fort Polk, La. and advanced individual training in the Honest John rocket system at Fort Sill, Okla. He spent his entire 22-year military career in the missile field.

He then deployed to Vietnam. “For a young man leaving Alabama and not knowing what’s happening, it was a little scary,” he said.

Glaster served with 6th Battalion, 71st Artillery (Hawk missile). The 18-year-old private was a gunner with the air defense unit in III Corps in Long Binh. He also spent about five months with a personnel recovery team in Hanoi.

Midway into his tour, the 30-member air defense unit had to fend off three nighttime attacks. Fortunately, they held their base.

His primary memories from Vietnam are “being scared all the time. Probably getting shot at and bullets going by you and just saying ‘I’m glad I didn’t get hit.’”

Returning home, Glaster encountered protesters after landing at the Los Angeles airport in June 1973. They were called “baby killers.” “Being young (19 years old), it was more so like ‘Whatever.’ Just glad to be home.”

Glaster retired in 1994 as a First Sergeant at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. He earned Vietnam service ribbons, Army Achievement Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals and Honorable Order of St. Barbara from field artillery school association.

After military service, Glaster worked 24 years for defense contractors, including 14 years with Trax’s International. He retired in 2018 and left White Sands for Madison.

Glaster’s oldest son, Tony, and youngest son, Jeremiah, live in Birmingham. His middle son, Deion, drowned in 1995 in Birmingham. Daughter Sachiko-Glaster Brown lives in Dallas, Texas. Glaster has eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

“Softball is my main hobby,” the 66-year-old said. He plays in 55-and-over Rockets league in Huntsville Senior Softball. He also runs and works out.

Glaster participates with Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He has a 60-percent disability rating from Veterans Affairs.

Glaster believes that schools should include the Vietnam War in the curriculum “I mean … they teach about World War I and World War II but let’s not forget about the Vietnam War. We lost more than in World War I and World War II. Let’s not forget our brothers and sisters that never came home,” he said.

 

Madison

Rocket City Federal Credit Union establishes the “Detective Josh Moseley Fund” for assistance

Business

Stores, parents gearing up for sales-tax holiday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

FCA Sports Camps- Faith And Sports

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – July 17, 2024

Madison

Madison Senior Center assists in TARCOG’s ‘Live and Live Well’ launch announcement

Madison

Canine officer, Bear, joins Madison Police force to detect devices, offer therapy

Bob Jones High School

Tosha Swearingen now serving as Rainbow Assistant Principal

James Clemens High School

Holmes accepts Assistant Principal position at Midtown

Madison

Nedjra Russell named Administrator of West Madison Pre-Kindergarten Center

Huntsville

Space & Rocket Center CEO to speak at chamber’s ‘Business Over Breakfast’

Madison

Main Street Alabama presents revitalization potential for downtown Madison

Main Street Alabama presents revitalization potential for downtown Madison

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Sparkman Grad Picked By Kansas City Royals In Major League Baseball Draft

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

“I’m Meant To Be Here”- Dell Pettus Signs With New England Patriots- Former Sparkman Player Goes Pro

Lifestyles

Get those pumpkins planted: Halloween starts in July

Events

CAFY Back to School event to be held Saturday at Calhoun’s Huntsville campus

Bob Jones High School

Teachers support DIAL Scholarship program at UAH

Events

Joe Davis Stadium to host UNA vs. Jax State collegiate soccer match Aug. 18

Huntsville

UAH announces search for a master developer to enhance college-town experience

Events

Huntsville Parks & Recreation to host inaugural Color Jam Family Fun Run & Walk

Madison

Fernandez named Assistant Coordinator of Accountability and Innovative Programs

Madison

ALEA reports 9 traffic deaths, 3 drownings over July Fourth travel period

Madison

Management institute awards scholarship to Michelle Epling

Madison

Sarah Crouch’s debut novel, ‘Middletide,’ sets whodunnit in Puget Sound

Liberty Middle School

White named Secondary Instructional Technology Specialist

x