Vietnam vet reunites with soldier he saved 42 years ago

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on May 28, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 29 at 7:14 AM

GRANBURY — It was a reunion 42 years in the making.

Joel Prothro and Jerry Sisler smiled and hugged each other at Granbury's Memorial Day parade.

It had been four decades since their paths crossed in Vietnam when the two were attached to the Army's 199th Light Infantry Brigade.

"This is the good doc — the medic that treated me when I was wounded," Prothro bragged.

Prothro was a 21-year-old Army solider when was seriously injured after walking into an ambush. He received shrapnel wounds to his abdomen and leg, and was lying on the ground when Sisler — a combat medic — found him.

"He crawled on top of me as there were explosions above us and shrapnel raining down," Prothro recalled. "He crawled on top of me, or I would have been hit again."

Sisler managed to pull Prothro to safety and get him the medical attention he needed.

Sisler realized later that some of the shrapnel was lodged in the medic bag that was on his back — shrapnel that likely would have hit Prothro if he hadn't been lying on top of him.

"Naturally, you are scared to death, but you knew a man is down, he needs help and it's your job," Sisler said.

Prothro — who lives near Houston — started tracking down Sisler earlier this year. He wrote him a letter back in March, to confirm this was the same man who helped him out years ago.

They decided to meet up on Memorial Day.

The two buddies spent hours taking pictures and celebrating the holiday together... two old friends who plan on remaining close, who will forever share a common bond.

"A lot of our guys didn't make it, and we did," Sisler said. "I'm thankful for that every day."

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

Twitter @craigcivale

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