News: Vietnam Veteran Retires from North Dakota National Guard
BISMARCK, N.D. — One of the last veterans of the Vietnam War still serving in the North Dakota National Guard has retired. Master Sgt. Douglas F. Balliet was honored today, Aug. 30, at a retirement ceremony at the Army Aviation Support Facility south of the Bismarck Airport.
Members of Balliet’s family were joined at the ceremony by dozens of fellow soldiers, retirees, and members of the North Dakota Patriot Guard and Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets Motorcycle club.
“Doug Balliet has served with honor and distinction throughout his military career. During his time with the North Dakota National Guard, he has improved our aviation forces by sharing his years of aircraft maintenance experience and professionalism with other service members in our organization,” said Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general. “We salute his 40 years of selfless service to our state and nation.”
A native of Linton, N.D., Balliet enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1970 and was assigned as an aircraft mechanic with the 101st Airborne Division at Camp Eagle, Vietnam, from Sept. 1970 to Sept. 1971. After an additional tour in the active duty Army, Balliet joined the North Dakota Army National Guard in 1972. In his final assignment, he served as the North Dakota Army National Guard’s aircraft maintenance supervisor.
“It’s been an honor to serve this great state and nation. I’m going to miss all the outstanding people I have worked with throughout my career as well as flying,” said Balliet. “The aviation community is in great hands with all the talented soldiers that serve each day.”
In addition to his maintenance duties, Balliet has logged more than 2,300 flight hours as a crew chief in various aircraft to include the OH-6 Cayuse, OH-58 Kiowa and UH-1 Huey helicopters, as well as military fixed wing aircraft UH-3 (Cessna 310) and U-21 (Beechcraft 90).
During his remarks at the ceremony, Sprynczynatyk pointed out that “Although they are a two other Vietnam veterans still serving in the North Dakota Army National Guard, Doug Balliet is the only one that served as a Soldier, the others having served in the Marines and Navy before joining the Army Guard.”
Balliet graduated from Linton High School in 1968 and received an Associate degree in Arts from Bismarck Junior College in 1981. He’s married to the former Kathy Gabriel and together have three children and four grandchildren.
Date Posted:08.30.2010 21:31
Location:BISMARCK, ND, US
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