Who is Lawrence Colburn?
Born in Coulee City, Washington, Colburn grew up in Mount Vernon, with his father, mother and three sisters, where he would serve as an altar boy for four years while attending Immaculate Conception Catholic School.
After dropping out of high school, he joined the army in 1966 and was assigned to train at Fort Lewis, followed by a stint at Fort Polk. He was then sent to Fort Shafter in Hawaii, where he earned his GED before being sent to Vietnam in December 1967. In South Vietnam he was assigned to the 161st Assault Helicopter Company with the rank of Specialist Four. Serving as a door-gunner on an OH-23 Raven observation helicopter, his crew chief was Specialist Four Glenn Andreotta and his pilot was Warrant Officer One Hugh Thompson, Jr.. All three men would be decorated for their actions at My Lai, although Andreotta was killed in battle three weeks after the event.
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