LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A Lake Charles native who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, credits his military service for making him a successful businessman. George Guillory, Jr. served three tours of Vietnam, from August 1971 to May of 1975. He was a boat engineer on the U.S.S. Paul Revere and served off the coast of Vietnam.
“The reason they were bringing boat engineers out there is that we were losing a lot fo them in that war,” said Guillory. “So we were going in to resupply what was going on at that time. Very scary for me. I was 18 years old and I had to man up quick.”
Coming from a family of six boys and four girls, Guillory was raised with a discipline that worked well in the Navy.
“What I really miss about the military is the camaraderie. You knew that no matter what you were going through, somebody was there to go through it with you. You were family on the ship. You had nobody else that was there except you. So you talked to one another. You cried on one another’s shoulder. If you needed something, you asked and they gave it to you.”
Coming back home, Guillory faced not only backlash from the Vietnam War, but also the fact that race relations had not improved.
“The United States of America would be a much better place if we could all look past the color of our skin and knowing that we need one another. God put us all here to fellowship with one another and fellowship with him. If we could embrace that, it would really be a great place to live.”
Guillory used his Navy experience to open his own transmission shop in Sulphur. Guillory is now retired, living in Carlyss. He says he stays in touch with a few of his shipmates from the Vietnam War.