July 2018: Bruce A. Lemont
US Army, 1967-1969
Born on November 9, 1948 in Portland, Maine, Bruce was drafted into the United States Army in 1967, a few short months after graduation from high school. As a member of a patriotic family (his father served in WWII and Korea, three brothers served in the Army and one brother served in the Marines) he was proud to be called to serve his country. After Basic Training in Ft. Benning, Georgia, he attended Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) in Ft. Polk, Louisiana. In March of 1968 he was shipped off to Vietnam and served in a Light Weapons Infantry unit. He was a Point Man assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. On June 28, 1968, Bruce took shrapnel in his arm from a nearby explosion. Luckily the wound was not serious, and he still had use of his arm, so he was treated and sent back to work. Then on September 6, 1968, he was once again wounded, this time more seriously, after a Vietcong soldier hurled a hand grenade at him, resulting in a severe shrapnel wound to his leg. He was medevac'd to the local field hospital, where he was treated, then sent to the hospital in Cam Rahn Bay for further treatment before being sent to Japan for physical therapy. After completing physical therapy in November 1968, he transferred to Ft. Devans, Massachusetts for light duty because his wound precluded him from wearing combat boots. In late January of 1969 he was assigned to the 29th Infantry in Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he worked in the Charge of Quarters (CQ) office. After serving the remainder of his two-year obligation, he was honorably discharged on September 26, 1969. Bruce has said that he enjoyed his time in the Army and would have served longer if he had been allowed to do so.
Bruce received numerous medals for his service to our country, including the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal w/1960 Device, Army Commendation Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation Badge, Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal, First Class Unit Citation Badge, Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Combat Infantryman Badge, Marksman (M-14) Badge, and First Class Gunner (M-60) Badge.
After leaving the Army, Bruce worked as an ironworker at a nuclear power plant in Maine for a year before joining a plumbing supply company where he invested the next 26-plus years. He met his wife Robin through friends, and they knew almost immediately they wanted to get married, which they did in 1970. In 1996 Bruce and Robin moved to Memphis and Bruce began yet another career, this time in cooking. While he worked at the University Club, Cafe Society, and Spring Creek Ranch Country Club, Robin went to work for Edward Jones in Memphis where she still is today. Bruce retired from his cooking career in 2011, and four years ago he and Robin moved to Munford. They are understandably proud of their four children: Dwight is retired from the Tennessee Air National Guard; Colin is a middle school teacher in Maine; Rochelle is a pharmacy tech in Maine; and Rachel is a homemaker with children of her own. Bruce and Robin have sixteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Bruce continues to serve his community as President of the Tipton County Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America and the Commander of the Tipton County Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He is a member of the Tipton County Veterans Council and volunteers for special functions at the Tipton County Veterans Service Office. Bruce and Robin attend Lighthouse Fellowship Church in Millington. Bruce loves his family and is proud that they are his legacy that he leaves to the world. Bruce was nominated for Veteran of the Month by August 2017 Veteran of the Month, H. Thurl Ray.