George Albert Vidrine – Command Sergeant Major, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

George Albert Vidrine, who landed on Omaha Beach in France on D-Day in 1944, died Sunday, April 25, 2004. He was 80.

George Albert Vidrine, who served in the Army for 35 years, died Sunday. He was 80.

Sergeant Vidrine, of Hope Mills, retired from the Army as a Command Sergeant Major. He also served with the Rangers in Korea and the Special Forces in Vietnam. He was wounded 10 times during his 35-year Army career.

”He had broken all medical records and beat all odds,” his daughter, Connie Choney of Hope Mills, said Monday. She said her father once spent 10 months in Womack Army Hospital after he was shot in Vietnam.

Sergeant Vidrine was a native of Port Arthur, Texas. Mrs. Choney said her father had been ill for the past three years.

”He had three different cancers from Agent Orange,” she said.

He was discharged from the Army in 1977 and served as a deputy for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office until 1989. After he retired from the Sheriff's Office, Vidrine volunteered regularly at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center for six years, Mrs. Choney said. She said her father entered the center for treatment three years ago after he was first diagnosed with cancer.

In 1993, his name was placed on three Walls of Honor at the Tower of Honor at the Port Arthur (Texas) Veterans Memorial Park.

In an interview with the Fayetteville Observer in 1985, Vidrine said he earned 68 service awards, including a Silver Star, six Bronze Stars, 10 Purple Hearts, six air medals and the Legion of Merit.

Vidrine said he was only 15 when he joined the 36th Division of the Texas National Guard in 1939. He was in 10th grade when he left school to begin Army training at Camp Bowie, Texas.

The division was shipped to North Africa in the summer of 1942. He later trained in England and served with a tank battalion in the Allied invasion of Europe, landing on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.

When the war in Europe ended, Vidrine was discharged as a Technical Sergeant. He returned to Texas, finished high school, attended college and got married.

He re-enlisted in the Army in 1950 and was assigned to Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne Division. He went to Korea with the 4th Airborne Ranger Company in 1951.

He was wounded during two combat tours in Korea.

Vidrine's first tour of duty in Vietnam was in 1965. He was injured and sent to the Philippines. He returned to Vietnam with a Special Forces team and was shot. He returned to Fort Bragg and spent 10 months in Womack.

He went back to Vietnam again and then to Europe before he was discharged for a second time in 1977.

Vidrine was a member of the Disabled American Veterans, Special Forces Association, 82nd Airborne Association and the Ranger Association. He was an usher at Faith Memorial Chapel.

During his last three years with the Sheriff's Office, Mr. Vidrine worked primarily as a liaison to Fort Bragg.

The funeral will be conducted at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Main Post Chapel on Fort Bragg by the Rev. Omovrekovura Nakireru.

Vidrine will be buried at 3 p.m. May 7 in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

The rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Wednesday by Pat Snyder at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home.

The family will receive friends after the service until 9 p.m at the funeral home.

In addition to Mrs. Choney, Mr. Vidrine is survived by his wife, Genevieve A. Vidrine of the home; sons, George A. Vidrine Jr. of Omaha, Nebraska, and Robert Vidrine of Owings Mills, Maryland; daughters Debbie Stratigakos of Baltimore, Gayle Ogden of Germany and Kenny Toney of Marietta, Georgia; 14 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 11/30/1940 – 11/30/1976
DATE OF BIRTH: 01/19/1924
DATE OF DEATH: 04/25/2004

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