S.E. Michigan
Vets List

Library of Congress
Vets Web Site

John Kinzinger
War: Vietnam
Branch: U.S. Army
Unit: 1st Air Mobile Calvary Division
Highest Rank: Specialist 4
Citations: CIB, Army Commendation


John Kinzinger was born on July 21, 1946 in Belleville, Michigan. After completing high school, he went to work at Ford Motor Company. He was drafted in 1966 and after basic he was sent to Teletype School in Georgia.

John was then sent to Vietnam where he, with others, was placed in a replacement unit. Eventually he was assigned as an observer for an artillery unit, which was part of the First Calvary Division.

John never faced any North Vietnam Regulars, just VC's. Sometimes the duty was difficult but all in all, he considered himself lucky. He mentioned passing up a helicopter ride that later crashed killing all aboard. In other incidents, one friend was killed, another lost a leg.

Upon discharge John returned to Ford Motor Company. He got married but it only lasted four years, "another casualty of the War." He attended Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University studying metallurgy. At Ford he eventually became supervisor of the Laboratory and retired after thirty years of service at the age of 50. He has been remarried for 25 years.

Since retiring, he has been extremely in Veterans affairs and in the 80's helped start the local Vietnam Veterans group. John mentioned that it took 10 years before he was able to tell people that he served in Vietnam. When he returned from duty, the community was not very accepting of Vietnam Veterans.