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MCC_Vets 1972-1975

The Manchester Community College Veterans Club

Manchester, Connecticut


MCC Vets Club Softball Team - 1975

MCC Vets Club Softball Team - 1974
Left-right - rear, Tim Ahern, Don Davis, Mark Lawrence, Ray Jenack, Mike Chartier, Sam Silver. Front, Bob Kenton, Doug Cianci, Chuck Scribner, Wayne Vojeck, Bob Buccino, Terry Nolan.


I recently came across this old picture of the 1974 MCC Vets Club softball team. The school had an active Veterans Club, of which I was a member, and this club sported a broad membership of other Vietnam Veterans from all branches of the Armed Services. I had joined the MCC Vets Club soon after beginning classes in September of 1972. Many Vietnam Era Veterans were showing up on campus in the early 1970s as those years marked the highpoint of the American troop presence in Southeast Asia. We studied and partied hard, enjoying the camaraderie and empathy that all of us found in the company of each other. We enjoyed many activities as a group, including outings at the shore, canoeing, camping, and hiking trips, and we fielded a softball team that competed in the local slow-pitch softball leagues.

In the summer and fall of 1972, the softball team went 1 and 13. The following year we were 7 and 7, and in 1974 we went 13 and 1 to win the Dusty 'Sofball' League Championship. In the town playoffs we lost in an early round to Center Billiards (or a team made up of some of their players). We held our own but lost to a better squad, the way it should be. You can't tell from the picture that Tim Ahern was severely injured by a land mine in Vietnam, but Don Davis and Mark Lawrence made sure he attended every game and team event with the rest of us, so for three years he suffered along with our defeats and celebrated our victories as a member of the squad.

That was the beginning of the end for friends were going off to four-year colleges, moving to new areas of the country, starting families, and searching out careers. I graduated in December of 1975, and over the years the Diaspora continued and I found myself in contact with fewer and fewer friends from the old days at school, yet I remain grateful for the support and friendship they provided me when I was leaving the memories of the Vietnam Era behind and finding a new direction for myself after three years in the Army.

We were soldiers once, as well as students, teammates, and friends. And yes, we were also young.

Laudizen King
November 2009
Los Angeles