WAHOO – Lynn Maxson’s service in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and later in the Army National Guard earned him the title of Saunders County Veteran of the Month for October.
Maxson was awarded the honor by Saunders County Veterans Service Officer Mary Pace during the Oct. 8 meeting of the Saunders County Board of Supervisors. Maxson was nominated by Ken Hanke.
Maxson joined the Army Oct. 3, 1966 in Omaha. He served as a heavy equipment operator. He was deployed to Vietnam where he spent over a year in country.
Maxson was also served on escort duty, where he would escort service members who were killed in action back to their families. He spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in Vietnam and got to see Bob Hope entertain the troops.
While in Vietnam, Maxson was also a survivor of the Tet Offensive. This was a series of attacks launched January/February 1968 by the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese army. This was to coincide with the first day of the Tet (Vietnamese New Year); it was a surprise attack on cities in South Vietnam, notably Saigon.
For his outstanding service, Maxson received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device 60, Bronze Star, Sharpshooter badge with rifle, two overseas bars and a Meritorious Unit Citation.
He was discharged Aug. 18, 1969 at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Almost a week later he married his sweetheart Mary. Mary Maxson is a member of the Quilts of Valor group that presents patriotic quilts to veterans in honor of their service.
In 1986, Maxson joined the Army National Guard, continuing he service until he was honorably discharged January 1994. While in the National Guard he was recognized by Maj. Gen. Stanley Heng, adjutant general for the Nebraska National Guard, for excellence as part of the color guard for military ceremonies. This was one of many honors Maxson would receive for his leadership and excellence.
Since leaving the military, Maxson has been a member of the American Legion Post 244 in Ceresco for 50 years, where he served as commander from 2006 to 2013. He is also a member of the Saunders County Veteran’s Memorial Committee and the committee that is tasked to put dog tags on all the flags of fallen service members that are placed in front of the Legion in Ceresco. He has also been involved with the steak feeds at the Legion.
Since 2005, Maxson and his wife have travelled to Branson, Mo. for Veterans Week every year. They have continued to help veterans from all over the country. Maxson has met several POWs over the years, listening to their stories of survival and war, and in 2006 he met several survivors of the Sunchon Tunnel Massacre in South Korea that took place in 1950. As of 2018 only two still survive.
During the supervisors’ meeting, Maxson was presented a Certificate of Appreciation for service in the Armed Forces of the United States of America, signed by Chairperson Doris Karloff.
The certificate reads, “The Saunders County Supervisors wish to recognize your military service to the United States of America. Throughout our nation’s history, it is the efforts of men and women such as yourself that have provided the freedoms we, as Americans, dearly enjoy today. Please accept our deepest gratitude and appreciation. Let us never forget your demonstrated sacrifice, service, love and commitment to your county.”