HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- High school dropout Jebron Pamplin decided to take after other men in his family and join the service. Little did Pamplin know, he would find himself on the front lines of the Vietnam War. His bravery and sacrifices solidified his spot in the Madison County Military Heritage Commission's Hall of Heroes.
"I was just a kid," SP4 (Ret.) Jebron Pamplin said. "I was a youngster, 17, when I volunteered."
Like many men on the front lines of the Vietnam War, Pamplin was a child facing a challenge.
"I was a high school dropout," Pamplin said. "I dropped out of school and I looked around and thought, 'what am I going to do with myself?'"
Pamplin found his answer among his band of brothers.
"Trust me, I was not alone," Pamplin said.
Pamplin referred to these fresh-faced fighters as the 'ground pound.'
"It's just like if somebody slapped your mother, you wouldn't be asking them why or what," Pamplin said. "You're just going to respond cause that's your mother. It's the same way with your country."
Pamplin remembers the day that changed everything for him while on patrol as an infantryman.
"Had to go down this trail and ran into a booby trap and it knocked down my whole squad basically," Pamplin said.
Soldiers boarded Pamplin onto a medivac, on a one-way trip out of Vietnam and out of the Army.
"I was going to make a career out of it," Pamplin said.
Pamplin's bravery earned him the bronze star for valor and the purple heart.
"Some say that my actions were kind of heroic, but I don't see it that way," Pamplin said.
Though some of his photos depict a time of turmoil, this week welcomes new memories for Pamplin and five other Vietnam veterans, each finding a spot among Madison County's bravest in the Hall of Heroes. They will each be inducted into Madison County Military Heritage Commission's Hall of Heroes on Thursday evening.