By Ashley Morgan
Vietnam Veteran Vernon Strebeck has lived and thrived in Barry, Texas for the last thirty-eight years. He served our country from 1968-1970. Vernon married Nan Strebeck fifty-five years ago in 1968 and two days later received his draft papers. He had two weeks to spend with his new bride before leaving to serve our country.
He went to Fort Polk, then Fort Hood for one year before packing his bags and leaving to Vietnam. During his Vietnam stay he drove a US convoy truck seven days a week in zones two and three at Cam Ranh Bay. The trucks in his convoy carried all the supplies such as food and ammunition to the front lines and were always an enemy target. There were forty trucks in his convoy, and Vernon spent his days driving them and nights sleeping under them. They were unable to fire on enemy soldiers unless fired upon first. During one of those nights sleeping under his truck, enemies attacked, his first sergeant asked him to get the gun and Vernon was the only one to man the machine gun and provide safety for his comrades. This act of valor was recognized, and he was awarded the ARCOM (Army Commendation Medal) granted to him for his consistent acts of heroism and meritorious service.
Since leaving Vietnam in 1970, Vernon wanted to become a Dallas Police Officer but when that didn’t happen for him, he fell back on what he was good at – driving trucks. He worked for the Roadway Trucking Company out of Fort Worth, Texas for thirty-two years and eventually retired in 2009. In 2012 he became the Scholarship Program President with help from loving wife Nan. The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1009 offer an annual essay scholarship to Navarro County high school graduating seniors who have a family history of serving in the military. Last year, scholarships totaling up to $3,000 were awarded to Corsicana High School students. Two of the winners happened to be his grandchildren, one being Ana Patricia Solis of Kerens High School who won First place in the 2020 Essay Contest.
Vernon served at the VVA in Corsicana for three terms before turning it over to Dale Williams in 2021. He has served for ten years and is currently serving as the Vice President of the Corsicana Farmer’s Market. He loves to garden, attends church at First Baptist in Corsicana, and thoroughly enjoys woodworking. He jokingly said he also does whatever Nan tells him to do, “a happy wife is a happy life,” said Vernon. His favorite hobby is doting on his three children, thirteen grandchildren, and four great grandkids. Vernon and Nan are ecstatic when speaking of their family, and how blessed they are.
In his spare time, Vernon also drives vets back and forth to the VA hospital and packs care packages at the Corsicana Troop Support Angels, a non-profit organization that works to send care packages to troops stationed overseas. Some of his woodworking creations like crosses have been donated by Vernon to local Fire Departments for auctions. Navarro County is lucky to have a kind-hearted, down to earth Veteran that has served our country, his family, and Navarro County all his life. He continues to be a serving man in his daily life and living as Papa Vietnam Veteran Vernon Strebeck.