Army Veteran George Lambert Veldman Jr. is today's #VeteranOfTheDay.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran George Lambert Veldman Jr., who served as a squad leader in Vietnam and received two Purple Hearts.

While living in Highland Park, Michigan, George Lambert Veldman Jr. received his Army draft notice Jan. 18, 1968. He first went to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for induction, then to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for basic training. Upon completing basic training, Veldman Jr. arrived at Fort Polk, Louisiana, to undergo infantry training. While at Fort Polk, he received an opportunity to train in Fort Benning, Georgia, for 14 weeks to become a leader for soldiers in combat. He completed this training successfully and afterward went back to Fort Polk to assist with leading basic training, as well as Advanced Infantry Training.

Shortly after arriving back at Fort Polk, now as a corporal, he went to Tan So’n Nhat Air Base in Saigon, Vietnam. His unit was the 11th Infantry Brigade, part of Company C of the 23rd Infantry Division on the LZ Cork base in Vietnam. He flew to Da Nang through active combat zones. During one flight, a shooter knocked down the helicopter carrying Veldman Jr. The passengers had to jump out of the helicopter.

As a sergeant, Veldman Jr. was a squad leader. The main objective of his unit was to patrol and destroy things that could be considered dangerous to American troops. Veldman Jr. described in an interview for the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project how they would often encounter hostile fire every time they would go out. When Veldman Jr. and his troops were not in combat or patrolling the jungles, they would sometimes visit the local villages and meet residents whose presence protected the soldiers. They would also help these citizens by taking them to base camp since the North Vietnamese Army would arrive at night to steal food.

On Jan. 31, 1970, Veldman Jr. honorably discharged as a sergeant. For his service, he received two Purple Hearts.

Veldman Jr. later remarked how many people were reluctant to wear their uniforms when they came home out of fear of attracting Vietnam War protesters. However, he went home to Michigan to meet his girlfriend and future wife, Penny. He got a job in the accounting department at the Secretary of State office in Michigan. From there, he decided to go back to school under the GI Bill. After about eight years of working and studying, Veldman Jr. graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in business administration. Veldman Jr. still keeps in contact with a few of his friends from his time of service via letters. He said, “Those were my two closest friends… that I relate to.”

Thank you for your service!


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.


Contributors

Writer: Lauren Draper

Editor: Katie Wang and Christopher Wilson

Fact checker: Carl Wessln and Alexandra Davenport

Graphic artist: Kiki Kelley

Army Veteran Rocio Garcia is today's Veteran of the day.#VeteranOfTheDay Army Veteran Rocio Garcia
Air Force Veteran Andrew Ho is today's #VeteranOfTheDay.#VeteranOfTheDay Air Force Veteran Andrew Ho

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

5 Comments

  1. Wallace J Erichsen November 3, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    George, we had great fun doing your Veteran’s History Project oral history interview in 2004. In undertaking any oral history interview of American military veterans, one is always reminded of the dedication and sacrifice put forth not only by the men and women in uniform, but also the families and communities that see their youth off to war. US Army Vietnam Veteran George Veldman is one such American who interrupted his college studies to answer his country’s call to arms.

    George is the oldest of three boys born to George and Mildred Veldman of Highland Park, Michigan. In their youth George, along with his brothers Dick and Gary, make long visits each summer to the Falmouth, Michigan farm of their uncle and aunt, Percy and Johanna Veldman. It was Percy and Johanna Veldman’s daughter, Carol, who became my wife. Our daughter, Ellen Erichsen, transcribed George’s oral recording one summer while attending Calvin College.

    Sergeant George Veldman, US Army put forth his best effort under very trying circumstances in Vietnam. Like most stories worth telling, is is a story of love – of men’s love for God and country, and for those with whom they share the battle, and the dying.

  2. Linda and charlie gifford October 21, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    George!!! Fantastic article!! You are famous!!! Little did I know when we all were playing basketball that you would be so successful!! Congratulations!!! We thank God for your service. 2 Purple Hearts. Amazing!!!
    From wyoming.., Linda (long) and Charlie gifford!!! Greetings to penny!!!

  3. Senior Veterans Care Network October 20, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you for your service George Lambert Veldman Jr.

  4. mirka October 17, 2021 at 3:05 am

    Heroes that we never forgot their services for the nation.
    #VeteranOfTheDay

  5. louis a nieves October 17, 2021 at 12:10 am

    hi salute to you! i was stationed at tan son nhut 1970-1971 welcome home brother!

Comments are closed.

You Might Also Be Interested in These Articles