Vietnam War Commemoration


Mark Buxton

Years of Service during the Vietnam War:

6/74 – 12/78
>>> NOTE: not actually in Vietnam theater of operations; do not have the ribbon

Position and Branch of Service during the Vietnam War:

US Navy, LT (SS) [O-3] various assignments as Submarine Line Officer on two submarines, including Missile Officer on an SSBN boat.

Where were you deployed:

Pacific (Pearl Harbor, HI & Agana, Guam)

What caused you to join the military:

NROTC full scholarship to USC, and a family history with the U.S. Navy

What was the transition like when you returned home?

Pretty easy, actually. Welcomed by family, started interviewing for jobs with Texaco, Lockheed Space & Missile and AT&T.

Most significant memory:

4 years of many, many sea stories and a few actual brown-skivvy events (like flooding in the engine-room through snorkel mast for 12 seconds before the flooding was secured in the ER (based on sonar recordings.) We went from periscope depth to 600’+ before an Emergency Blow (a one-shot deal installed after loss of USS Thresher) brought us back to the surface. Later analysis (mine, verified by XO and Engineer) revealed if securing flooding had happened any later than 17 seconds, that there was a 99% likelihood that we wouldn’t have made it back.

What do you wish that civilians would understand about military service?

I would hope that they understand that being in the military is a life of service, duty and responsibility – where we each willingly and knowingly, in effect, write a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including our life. It is regimented, full of hardships and often stressful. It deserves honor, respect and dignity… and appreciation and support by those we defend