SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Sioux City resident Dennis Krause was just 21 years old when he was drafted into the Vietnam War. He said he was disappointed when he found out where he would be deployed.
“I volunteered to go to Germany and Korea, but it was with no luck. They sent me to Vietnam anyways,” he said.
As a fourth-class specialist in the infantry, Krause said he was taught one skill in the military.
“Basically, how to kill,” he said.
One morning, he and his fellow soldiers were hit by mortar rounds and AK-47 bullets from the North Vietnamese army. He said the wounds from that day will remain with him forever.
“I was hit several times on the left side of my body, upper body and my leg, and I still have one round just an inch or two from my heart about the size of your thumbnail that they left in because it was just too close to my heart to take out,” he said.
Krause was awarded a purple heart and honorably discharged in 1970. Years later, health problems remind him of the price he paid to serve his country.
“I was exposed to Agent Orange and August third of last year, I had my prostate removed because of a highly aggressive cancer and I think we have that under control right now,” he said.
When he came back to Sioux City after his military career ended, he earned a degree in Business Education and Economics at Westmar College and taught those subjects at Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School.