Vietnam veteran re-enlists in Iraq
July 21, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ-EAST, Iraq -- Sgt. 1st Class Hershel L. Mayfield, a native of Tallassee, Ala., has been serving in the Army for 39 years; thirty-seven of which were with the 158th Maintenance Company, Alabama Army National Guard.
Mayfield decided that it was time to re-enlist again into the Guard and continue to serve his country for two more years.
"Everything I do today is done with the next generation in mind and how I can influence them to do the same for their nation," said Mayfield.
Mayfield joined the Guard, re-classing as a light-wheel vehicle mechanic with a desire to continue serving his country as a Soldier. He thanks his wife of 30 years and his children for supporting him throughout his military career.
"It is a way of life and they've learned to live in it," said Mayfield. His family has dealt with his absence due to three deployments and numerous training events.
"I joined the military because the base was adjacent to my home, and in order to have freedom, someone has to do the job," said Mayfield. "It also provided me with benefits that no other civilian job has."
Mayfield re-enlisted to serve for another two years while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 08-10, in front of unit's headquarters.
Mayfield has served a total of 39 years in the service; two year as an infantryman on active duty and 37 years with the Alabama National Guard. During this period, he was deployed to Vietnam in 1969, Kosovo in 1996, and most recently to Mosul, Iraq, in 2008.