Three Whitewater natives have an incredible bond.
The oldest brother made a sacrifice, so his brothers wouldn’t have to see war.
The Partridge brothers say they were raised in a house full of love, and service.
Their father was part of the 101st Airborne at the Battle of the Bulge.
“I figured if I went in maybe I could stop them from going to Vietnam,” Vietnam War Veteran Jerry Partridge said.
The jungle is exactly where the soldier ended up.
“I didn’t get out into the jungle to fight ‘Charlie,’ because he was usually coming at us,” Jerry said.
He said it was no place for his brothers, Bo and Sam.
“I didn’t know he was over there,” Sam Partridge said.
“Bo, didn’t know where I was at for three months and mom wrote me a letter, and said Bo wants to know why you are mad at him, because I wasn’t writing to him,” Jerry said.
He said there were no letters from Vietnam, because he knew Bo would try to join him.
“I wasn’t going to have that, I would rather have him think I was mad at him,” Jerry said.
Bo was eventually drafted
“Did my medical training, and everything, because O was a combat medic, that never made it to combat,” Bo said.
That’s because his brother was already there.
“That Sgt. would not let me go,” Bo said.
“If I knew him today, I’d hug him, I’d give him a big hug, because he kept Bo from coming over there,” Jerry said.
Bo put in the paperwork ten times, trying to get to Vietnam.
Here’s what the military had to say about that…
“We could let you go, being you’ve got another brother at home, but we can’t do that to your mother,” Bo said.
Sam’s draft number also came up.
“I would have been following along right after him, if I had not gotten that note from my doctor,” San said.
Sam wasn’t able to serve, but the Army did send Bo overseas.
“They shipped me over to Germany,” Bo said.
“I thank God a million times, since then, that they didn’t let Bo or Sam, either one, to go over there,” Jerry said.
He said there were times he wasn’t sure if he was going to make it back, and when he did…
“If Bo would have got to the right plane, he’d uh got to the airport two minutes apart from me and if he had we would have livend that airport up,” Jerry said.
He said he also ran into Sam, at the airport.
“He was walking down through there and I seen him, and mom was with me and I just walked right beside him, never said a word just walked right beside him,” Jerry said.
When the brothers were finally reunited the laughs just kept coming, and still do today, as they get together several times each week.
They said the strong roots that built their bond, also gave them a deep understanding of sacrifice.
“I went in, because of them,” Jerry said.
“Makes me feel proud, you know, that he did what he did, for us,” Sam said.
“What he did, because if anyone would ever get the bond in their heart like we have,” Bo said.
- Veteran Salute: Vet says it’s all about showing others compassion
- Veteran Salute: Vietnam vet says comrades became life-long friends
- Veteran Salute: ‘Grey Beards’ kept aircraft in flight
- Veteran Salute: Nearly 70 years later, Korean War hero receives medals
- Veteran Salute: From Emporia State basketball to Marine General