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A profile of 2 Coastal Bend war vets - KZTV10.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

A profile of 2 Coastal Bend war vets

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CORPUS CHRISTI -

A young Sheriff Jim Kaelin served in Vietnam in 1968

"And those around you were always dying.  It was always a real presence and darkness that brought a level of fear," said Kaelin.

The Sheriff's home in Vietnam was a basecamp in the Mekong Delta.  He and his men would come under attack every night.

"Usually starting off with mortar fire and then from the mortar fire there would be a lot of small arms fire," said Kaelin.

Like many Vietnam vets, the Sheriff was proud of his service but questioned the cause.

"Our country engaged in a war that it was not willing to fight to win," said Kaelin.

When he got home he had what he called night terrors.  The images of war haunted him for years.

"There's not probably a week that goes by that it does not come, but it's less today then it used to be," said Kaelin.

Meet 97 year old World War 2 vet Eugene Caballero.  "I saw many things," said Caballero.

Eugene can't say much these days especially about what he saw in war.  "He never talks about it, like I've been saying," said Caballero.

His son Eugene JR. helped us talk to his dad.  Caballero served in the third army under General George S. Patton.  When he got home, the horrors of war were still with him.

"He said he had so many nightmares that he had to drink every night," said Caballero.

Recently he pulled out a picture he had for decades. No one had ever seen it.  "About three weeks ago he comes in the room and he slides a photograph towards me," said Caballero.

It was a picture of a German woman he had met at the end of the war.  During fighting in France during the Battle of the Bulge, Caballero suffered frostbite. The scars of his injury never went away.

"His bill in summertime is like 20 bucks because he never turns the air on because he can't stand cold weather," said Caballero.

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