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Kenneth Dempich
War: Vietnam
Branch: United States Army
Unit: 4th Division - Infantry
Highest Rank: Sergeant, Squad Leader, Heavy Weapons
Birth Year: July 11, 1945
Place of Birth: Dearborn, Michigan

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Kenneth was born in Dearborn, Michigan, on July 11, 1945. His growning years were in Lincoln Park, Michigan. After high school, he worked in a supermarket. He was drafted in 1965 and after basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky and advanced training at Fort Lewis, Washington, Kenneth was shipped to Vietnam. The Division went as a unit. The trip took 29 days and at times the weather was very rough (typhoon).

The division's first location was Tuy Hoa, where they spent four months. They were then sent to Pleiku near the Cambodian border. He described heavy fighting in both locations. He received his first Purple Heart on May 1, 1967 (shrapnel) and his second exactly one month later. "Friendly Fire" caused deafness when an artillery shell exploded near his location. Although Kenneth served near and next to soldiers who were exposed to Agent Orange, he is still clear.

Kenneth returned to his supermarket job but eventually went to school to study accounting. His specialty was payroll and he ended up working for several different companies. Because of his multiple injuries, he retired in 2001. Since his retirement, Kenneth has been a volunteer at local schools. He was married for 39 years, divorcing in 2010.

Kenneth talked a great deal about his "blood brother," with whom he pledged to "trade" blood if or when needed. Kenneth's Unit has a reunion every two years. This year the reunion will be in Tennessee and in 2012 the reunion will be in Washington, D.C. He is looking forward to visiting Washington, D.C. since he has never had the opportunity to visit the various military memorials.