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A harrowing story from the Vietnam War – and the man that lived to tell it


“If I imagined this guy, or if he was really there, I’ll never know.”

LANSING, Ill. (November 9, 2023) – René Alamillo served in the Marines during the Vietnam War. Just a few short days before he was scheduled to return to the U.S., he was caught in an ambush, and barely escaped with his life.

Alamillo shared this story with The Lansing Journal while filming another video about his uncle-in-law, Sgt. Chano Garcia, which we published in September.

Alamillo gave The Lansing Journal permission to publish this video as a Veterans Day example of how veterans were willing to — and did — sacrifice their lives in service to our country:


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.


  1. I continue to be impressed with the work of the Lansing Journal. Thank you for this and all the related stories. I used it to discuss Veterans Day with my daughter whom I homeschool.

    • Thank you so much, Esther — and what a great idea. Not only are you engaging your daughter with important information, but we hope you are also turning her into a future Lansing Journal reader! Thank you for letting us know.

  2. Thanks you for sharing that. My personal experience in the USMC involved 18 months at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after which I was discharged in December of 1963. Every year at this time [Marine Corps’ Birthday: November 10; Veteran’s Day,. November 11], I think about two people I went to TF South with who lost their lives in Vietnam: Albert “Happy” Brose was a helicopter pilot, and Richard Schroeder was a hospital corpsman attached to a Marine fighting unit. I’m sure there are more. I think about those guys every year at this time.


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