Friendship endures decades after war
Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012 11:36 pm
Much has changed over the years for Larry Doxey and his friend, Johnny Guilliot, but the two Vietnam War veterans have kept one thing constant — their friendship.
Doxey, 64, was born and raised in Union City. He graduated from Union City High School in 1967 and then in 1968 he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He went through basic training at Ft. Campbell, Ky., and graduated from aviation school at Fort Rucker, Ala., before being shipped out to Vietnam.
Doxey was assigned to the 54th medical detachment in Chu Lai, Vietnam, and handled logistics for medical missions with a helicopter crew.
He completed his military service and was discharged from the Army on Veterans Day 1972 — 40 years ago.
It is his friendship with Guilliot that has endured all these years and continues to this day. The two men met while they worked in the same unit in Chu Lai.
“We worked together there. We just met and kind of hit it off,” Doxey said. “He became like a big brother to me.”
Both men were Spec. 5s in their unit and both hailed from the South. Guilliot is a native of Westwego, La., and still lives near there now.
Doxey said in 1986 he began wondering whatever happened to Guilliot and so he started doing a little checking.
“I just called information and got his number,” Doxey said.
From there, the two old friends reconnected and renewed their friendship. They have stayed in touch by telephone ever since and regularly call to see how each other is doing.
Last summer, Guilliot traveled to Union City and spent a few days with his old Army buddy. They traveled around the area as Doxey showed his friend all the sights.
“He loved the lake (Reelfoot Lake) because he said it looked like Louisiana,” Doxey said.
Guilliot also brought some of his photos from the war and Doxey dug into his military foot locker. Together, the two men reminisced about their time during the war.
Doxey served 23 years with the local National Guard unit before retiring. He still keeps busy as an on-air personality at KYTN radio station.
He plans to visit his friend in Louisiana some day.
This Sunday afternoon, however, Doxey said he will be attending the Veterans Day program at the local VFW. It begins at 2 p.m.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 11.9.12