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Decorated Vietnam veteran shares his life story

'I still tear up when I go to the wall...'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- On Veterans Day, many Americans gather to honor those who put their lives on the front lines. And for one decorated veteran who lives in Bend, he says this day makes him very proud to have served his country.

Lt. Dana Biehl, 73, fought in the Vietnam War and earned four Bronze Stars for valor,  a Purple Heart and many other achievements.

He says it still heavily affects him today.

"Even though it was a long time ago, it was an impact," Biehl says. "It definitely had an impact on me. I still tear up when I go to the (Vietnam War Memorial) Wall and I look at names of people that died in my order that are on the wall."

After serving in the war, Biehl went to law school and worked for the Department of Justice's Honors Graduate Program in the Criminal Division for 38 years, integrating himself back into society.

"Well, I went to law school right away, and it was a lot more of a challenge," he says. "I can't say more than Vietnam was, but it took my mind off of it."
Some of his prominent cases dealt with drug and police corruption. He worked on the bombing of the American embassy in Kenya in 1998, and the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people. 

Later, he became the first legal advisor for the Central Criminal Court in Iraq.

While serving in the war, Biehl said a memorable experience was being ambushed, he battles many physical ailments as a result of being shot.

"It's just something you try to get past," he says. 

Despite all that he experienced with the Vietnam and Iraq wars, Biehl says he appreciates the outpouring of gratitude he received Monday, riding in a bus in the parade with fellow veterans now living at Fox Hollow Assisted Living.

"It makes you very proud of the whole thing and your experience, even though it was a long time ago," he says. 

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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.


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