Vincent Cantu, a native of Refugio, Texas, was drafted in 1963 leaving behind a wife and two year old daughter. He trained in Fort Benning, Georgia for two years with the first of the 7th Calvary Airmobile. Cantu was a gunner mortar man alongside his friend, Clarence Davis. Cantu’s commander was Lt. Colonel Hal Moore. He engaged in battle for three days in the Ia Drang Valley called Landing Zone X-Ray. This battle would become the first major battle in Vietnam.
While serving in Vietnam, Cantu ran into Joe Galloway, a reporter for United Press International. Galloway and Cantu were born in Refugio, Texas and graduated from Refugio High School.
According to Cantu, it was because of Joe Galloway and Lt. Colonel Hal Moore (now general) that Vietnam veterans got the recognition they all deserved. Their story was told in the book "We were Soldiers." Cantu now lives in Houston, retired from Metropolitan Transit Authority. He has been married to his second wife for more than 36 years.
Watch Joe Galloway and Vince Cantu recount their Ia Drang experience: