A Johnston County native who lost his life just 6 weeks after arriving in Vietnam will be honored on Saturday during a special Veterans Day event.
Allen Sheffield Stroud was killed on June 17, 1968 one day before his 21st birthday.
Stroud was born in Clayton and graduated from Cooper School in Clayton. He spent most of his time with his grandparents in Garner and after marrying moved to the Town of Garner to start a family.
In 1967 and struggling financially, Stroud was considering enlisting in the military to take advantage of the G.I. Bill to cover the cost of college. Before he could enlist he was drafted.
Corporal Stroud, a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne, arrived in Vietnam in 1968. Six weeks laterhe was the Infantry Team Leader in the 4th Bn, 503rd Infantry, 173 Airborne Brigade (“The Rock”) when his platoon became outnumbered in the Lam Dong province during a firefight and was killed. The Army said Stroud stepped on a land mine and died. Members of his unit said he was killed by a grenade. Other reports said he was trying to recover the body of a fall comrade. He was buried at Raleigh Memorial Park.
His widow, Dora Ann will be in attendance on Saturday at the Town of Garner’s annual Veterans Day event. The Garner American Legion will present her with a replacement Purple Heart Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal lost when she moved to Tennessee shortly after her husband’s death. Dora Ann Stroud returned home to Garner 7 years ago.
According to the National Archives, Corporal Stroud was one of 1,613 people from North Carolina killed in Vietnam. He is among the 66 people from the Garner community who have lost their lives protecting our country and our freedom.
According to an anonymous posting on a military service website from one Stroud’s former platoon members, “You performed magnificently that day and I’ll never forget you.”
Photo courtesy Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund