COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Norm Lambert joined the Marine Corps at 17, landing first in Korea and then Vietnam.
Lambert trained in the communications sector with the first Marine division.
“We had to string it out to repair a line that the Chinese had cut and that’s what I was doing that day,” he said.
That was the day Lambert saw two of his friends killed in action and earned his first of three Purple Hearts.
“I never forgot those names,” he said. “Thomas Edward Hickey. Clyde Charles Keough.”
Lambert stood guarding their bodies until the “Angel Squad” as it was called came to retrieve them. He was also wounded and facing enemy fire.
After Korea, Lambert left the Marines, but was drawn back to the service years later. He joined the Army to become a paratrooper, training in special forces and volunteering to go to Vietnam twice.
“I’m not a hero. Not a hero,” he said. “I just was a Marine and I was in Special Forces in Vietnam.”
Lambert is most proud of service after the military. He earned a number of degrees and taught several classes at West Point. He eventually retired from Southwest city schools where he worked as a teacher, department head, and assistant principal.