Basic training 50 years ago

Jim Stoffers was recently going through old photographs and found this picture, which was taken 50 years ago during Army basic training at Fort Lewis, Washington. Stoffers grew up in Arcadia and graduated from Ar-We-Va. His uncle is Reynold Gehlsen; Troy, Brett and Shawn Gehlsen are his first cousins. The photo is of five Crawford County boys. From left, Thomas Kuhlman, of Charter Oak, Don Williams, of Denison, Glen Langenfeld, of Vail, Dean Hast, of Dow City, and Stoffers. All five were inducted together 50 years ago Monday - on August 5, 1969. Williams and Stoffers ended up going through Advanced Individual Training (Infantry) together. They flew to Vietnam together and were both sent to the 196th Infantry Brigade stationed in Chu Lai. Williams and Stoffers had never met before they were inducted but became close friends during their time together. Stoffers was sent home when he was wounded in 1970. He found out later that Williams had been killed in a car accident near Denison in the mid-1970s. He asked the Bulletin and Review to publish the photograph to honor local young men who served in the U.S. military during a very tumultuous time for the nation.

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