SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Llyod McKenzie grabbed a book from the stand near his bed and started flipping through the pages. To anyone else it is just a scrapbook, but to Lloyd McKenzie his memories of Vietnam are bound together in those pages. Dozens of photos of him and his friends from the mid-1960s.
“I wanted to get it over with you know,” said McKenzie in reference to fighting in Vietnam, “I had a good job when I got drafted in California working for Texaco.”
The Oil City native entered the Army in April of 1965.
“I was a machine gunner in a weapons squad when we first went over there (Vietnam) and then I was able to get into S2 which is intelligence security and reconnaissance, and oh man I loved doing that,” recalled McKenzie, “We put maps together and I majored in history and geography up at (Louisiana) Tech which is probably the best thing I could’ve done.”
During the early morning hours on May 30, 1966 McKenzie’s battalion came under attack.
"You couldn’t see your hand in front of you, " he said, “We were out of machine gun ammunition and all of a sudden got the mortar rounds in the wrong place the 80 mm they got the 60s in there for that, and they don’t work.”
As the battle intensified the need for ammo became critical. So McKenzie and his buddy risked their lives to correct the issue and resupply the crews.
“We were crawling on the ground and they were firing at us with machine guns, it was bad.”
McKenzie said they made several passes before all the ammo was distributed. He would later be awarded a Bronze Star for heroism for his selfless act.
McKenzie was released from the Army on January 11, 1967. He now lives in the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Home where you can find him sharing a smile or story with anyone who passes.