LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Clint Welch of Lake Charles spent 11 months and 22 days in Vietnam. It was 1965 and the war was at a fever pitch. Welch was an M-P for the Provost Marshal. He remembers the cook for his unit being killed while getting ingredients for the next meal.
"He went down to pick up the KP," recalled Welch. "They threw a phosphorus grenade into his 3/4. All that was left was his torso. But he didn't have to be there, but he was."
“When I left Vietnam, they sent me to Ft. Polk. The sergeant said if you go to Ft. Polk, that’s Ft. Puke. Diseaseville. I said where ever you promote me, I’ll go. So I went straight to Ft. Polk. i have 8 months to do that.”
When he returned to Lake Charles, Welch became a policeman for the Lake Charles Police Department.
"We all got along with people. I worked the day Martin Luther King got killed. There were only 3 units to cover all of Lake Charles. North, center and south. They started to flip our cars at Mill and Enterprise."
From patrolman to Chief of Detectives, Welch served 18 years with the department.
Welch is a planning a reunion with one of his Vietnam buddies this weekend. He says that’s one way to cope with P-T-S-D, by talking about his experiences.