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Honoring Our Heroes

Sergeant Edwin Lloyd Faulkner: Age 77

Sergeant (Sgt) Edwin Lloyd Faulkner served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. His Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was Machine Gunner (331). He received the following medals, awards, citations and ribbons: Purple Heart Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one star, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and Rifle Sharpshooter Badge.

Sgt Faulkner was born June 29, 1946 in Troy, AL, to his parents, Edwin H. and Nellie Faulkner. He was reared in Union Springs, AL, and he graduated from Union Springs High School in 1964.

Sgt Faulkner volunteered for military service, was sworn in at Birmingham, AL and began serving in the U.S. Marine Corps August 3, 1964. His beginning salary in the U.S. Marine Corps was $78.00 per month. He completed 13 weeks of Boot Camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. He received the legendary training in physical, mental and moral toughness to fight among the Marine Corps ranks. There he learned that it is not enough to endure, but a Marine must prevail.

He was then assigned to D Company, 1st Marine Battalion, 6th Marine Division as an infantry machine gunner at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he trained with the use of mortars and machine guns for 30 days in Infantry at Camp Geiger, part of the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., complex and home to the United States Marine Corps School of Infantry East for all Marines recruited through the Eastern Recruiting Region. He remained at Camp LeJeune for one year in 1965 with a Weapons Platoon attached to an Infantry Platoon. While there, he was on standby and served Temporary Duty (TDY) in Santo Domingo during a civil war for 30 days. He continued to train at Camp LeJeune until he was sent to Vietnam in December 1965. He was transferred to M Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Division in Vietnam located just below the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). He was sent to San Diego for three weeks of jungle training followed by three weeks in Okinawa for more training. From there, he sailed for nine days on the attack ship, the AP/-248 USS Paul Revere to Vietnam.

Sgt Faulkner landed at the harbor near Hue Phu Bai, Vietnam, and traveled with Marines via truck which was referred to as a cattle car to a compound outside Hue Phu Bai. From there he went north and served in the northern part of Vietnam near the DMZ at Dong Ha which was one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the war and Quang Tri where an intense, sustained rocket and artillery barrages occurred. His platoon would take hostile territory on night patrols.

He was subjected to Agent Orange while serving there. His time in Vietnam consisted of daily patrols of designated territory and occasional night ambushes. During the numerous patrols, there was frequent contact with the Vietnamese Gorillas and the North Vietnamese Army. Some battles were light, while others were heavy resulting in many wounded and casualties. While in Vietnam, his Company participated in 10 operations having code names like Operation Cherokee, Operation Hastings, Operation Wayne, etc. As operations could last several days, the objective was to take a territory form the Viet Cong and keep it occupied by American forces. He was initially a gun team leader as well as the gunner. He was promoted twice within six months. The last promotion resulted in his becoming a machine gun squad leader supervising two machine gun teams. They slept only four hours each night with two hours at a time. They endured many nightly mortar attacks. Meals consisted of C-rations three times each day and sometimes less than three. On one occasion, there was no food or water for two days because the area was too hostile for helicopters to bring in supplies. He served in Vietnam for 10 months. During a heavy battle, Sgt Faulkner was blown up by a landmine suffering severe wounds on December 21, 1966. He was medevaced via helicopter to a field hospital where he underwent hours of surgery. Then he was hospitalized and treated in Da Nang, the Philippine Islands, Japan and at the Naval Air Station Hospital in Pensacola, FL , where he endured more surgeries, rehabilitation and physical therapy for six months. After completing treatments and rehabilitation, he was assigned to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina for 16 months as the coach and then as a Primary Marksmanship Instructor on the rifle range where Marine recruits were instructed for two weeks. While there, he was promoted to Sergeant (E-5). Sgt Faulkner completed his military service August 2, 1968.

After his military service, Sgt Faulkner used the G.I. Bill and received a BS Degree in Accounting from Auburn University in 1972. He first worked as an accountant with the CPA firm, Kent, Nobles and Martin, in Montgomery, AL, for one year. He then worked for 25 years with the Alabama Department of Transportation in Finance retiring as Assistant Director in 1998. Next, he worked as the Chief Financial Officer of Kyser Corporation, a holding company, in Montgomery for one year. His final employment was the Finance Director of the City of Montgomery for 14 years during 1999-2013.

Sgt Faulkner and his wife, Joy, have been married 52 years, and they have three children and five grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, trail riding on horses, quail hunting and traveling. He continues to serve on various civic boards and is currently the president of the City of Montgomery Retiree's Association. He is also an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery. He attends Wesley Methodist Church in Montgomery.

Sgt Faulkner's conclusions about his Marine military service are, "When I hit the ground in Vietnam, I was a 19 year-old kid. I realized quickly the importance of a soldier in this country. Without soldiers, this country would never have been established nor sustained. It saddens me today that a large portion of this country is anti-military. Although I was reared in Union Springs, I grew up in the Marine Corps. It gave me the foundation that made me the man that I am today."


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