WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Newschannel 6 is honoring the military service given by retired Army Lt. Col. Stan Leishner.
The Wichita Falls man always had plans on joining the military and fulfilled his dreams after graduating from Midwestern State University in 1964.
"My dad was in the Airborne Army in WWII and Stan was in the Army in Vietnam and it was just an immediate connection," Stan's friend David Luna said.
His loved ones said he has gone above and beyond for our country.
"I didn't really realize it until I was about 20 as far as the kind of sacrifices he made in Vietnam," his daughter Kathy Leishner said.
A college course taken by one of his sons allowed the two to bond over his experience.
"He didn't talk about it much when I was younger, but when I got to college I took a class on the Vietnam war and that's where he kind of opened up about it," Mark Leishner said.
While he doesn't like to talk about many war stories, there is one he can't go without mentioning.
During a combat assault, the helicopter he was in was being shot at from the ground. A bullet came through the side of the aircraft and hit Stan in the back.
"When the medic was cutting off my clothes he realized that I was wet, which probably wasn't unusual in a situation like that," retired Army veteran Stan Leishner said.
But after the rest of his equipment was taken off everyone realized what had happened.
"Something rattled and sure enough, we got it out and it was the canteen and then he took the lid off and turned it upside down and poured out a bullet," Stan said.
He suffered nonlife-threatening injuries but did spend some time in the hospital. During his stay, he tried to keep the news from his wife Jane.
"He sent me letters, almost every day that he was in Vietnam. I got a letter every day, this particular letter came on stationary for the Red Cross and that was a clue to me that he was in the hospital," Jane Leishner said.
Stan served 20 years in the Army and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Those who know him best could not be more proud.
"Stan will tell you that the heroes of Vietnam are the 58,307 names on the wall in Washington. I say some of the heroes made it home and he's one of them," David Luna said.
Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6