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Murray David Engebretson

Hometown: Missoula

Rank: SGT (E-5)
Unit Designation: Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division (Rein) Pacific, Fleet Marine Force
Branch of Service: United States Marine Corps
Years of Service: 7
Location of Service: Mainly Japan and Viet Nam/Quang Ni Provence

Murray was with a unit that was to take a mountain March 6th, 1968. The ARVIN were to give air cover. When the Communist planes entered the scene, the Vietnamese turned tail and ran. The men proceeded to take that mountain anyway. Murray saw a machine gun in the jungle just yards from them. He told his men to open fire. A second Lieutenant told him to have his men hold their fire. He said "I won't". Again, the Second Lieutenant told him to have his men hold their fire. Again, Murray said, "I won't". For the third and last time the Second Lieutenant told him to have his men hold their fire. Murray said, "I won't and what will you do if I don't?" The Second Lieutenant said, " I'll have you courtmartialed!" Murray told his men to hold their fire. He looked down the line and saw that out of 15 men he had lost 9 just like that. He was so angry and wanting to save the rest of his men, he pulled a grenade, pulled the pin and stood half way up to throw it at the machine gun before it got more of his men. When he did, it got him, three times in the trunk of his body. He was medivacked out of there to a "Charlie Med" hospital. Also called a field hospital. As soon as they could transport him to Clark Air Force Base Hospital in Manila, he was moved. While in the hospital in the Philippines, he got double pneumonia and ran into a mass of complications. The doctors decided to have him flown to Seattle to the Naval hospital there at Bremerton. When he got to Bremerton, he had a most wonderful pair of medical people taking care of him. They were Doc Gallant and a nurse that he called "Silver". They and their team worked with him and go him back to good health. He had part of the left lobe of his liver, half of his stomach and 3 feet of intestine removed. He had Chorioretinitis in his right eye, Scoliosis, Dorsolumbar Acquired, Nasodeptal Deflection and numerous other things wrong. The gun shot wounds weakened many of the vital organs of his body. He went through a major healing process and very much pain physically and mentally. Doc Gallant told his Mom and Dad that by all laws of nature, he had no right to be alive. He is a walking phenomenon. He has worked very hard all of his life to support his wife and 3 children and is now paying the price as his lungs are about gone, he has had two hernia surgeries, back problems due to a fracture from apparently a bullet lodging near or at his spine and other physical problem. He is a real fighter and a real hero to many who have known him and his story through the years. He was 7 months in Viet Nam and 7 months in the hospital. He was and is very brave and he has loved and served his country above and beyond the call of duty and says he would do it again. He was awarded two Good Conduct Medals, the Purple Heart and other service medals. God Bless America and God Bless men like Murray David (Shorty) Engebretson. Proudly reported by his wife of 40 years, Nancy J. Engebretson, and he is my hero and others.

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