K.I.A. to receive a Quilt of Valor
A Quilt of Valor will be awarded to Jacky Bayne on November 21, 2015 in Rock Hill, SC.
Jacky Bayne was an infantry dog handler in Vietnam with his K-9, Bruno. Their job was to locate mines and other explosives, then detonate them so others would not get injured.
While on a mission that lasted more than 24 hours with no sleep, Mr. Bayne was Killed in Action on July 16, 1967 in the jungles outside the port city of Chu Lai. (please don’t make assumptions - continue reading)
Bayne was declared dead, so he was put in a body bag. At a field hospital, Sgt. Bruce Logan was tagging Bayne’s toe to identify him and as a young corpsman when for reasons unknown, he checked the body. He found a faint pulse.
They rushed Bayne to the field hospital, but by then his pulse was gone, so they pronounced him dead again.
Before the field embalmers could start on Bayne, though, another pulse, weak, was found. A bit of blood came from the shredded leg. He was rushed back to the field hospital one more time, and this time, nobody came with a body bag.
The last thing Bayne remembered is Bruno and he got blown up. It killed Bruno.
A month later he woke up at the Walter Reed Army hospital here in the states. He thought he was a prisoner of war, maybe off in some camp someplace, and he heard his mother’s voice. He asked if any of my men got killed. The answer was no. The only one that died was Bruno.
“Bruno died, and I gave my leg and more”, Bayne said. “But those soldiers did not die. It was all I cared about then, that Bruno and I did our duty.”
At that Army hospital in 1967, Bayne weighed 70 pounds. He and his family were told that because of the loss of blood to his organs and brain, he would never be more than a “vegetable” if he did survive. Bayne suffered brain damage that affected his left arm and other functions – but he survived 1967 and several surgeries, a real-life American Vietnam War veteran.
He met a pretty girl named Patsy Lane who worked at one of the mills, and in 1974, Patsy and Jacky were married in front of a church packed to the rafters. Bayne said, “I stood up that day on one leg and said, ‘I do’ – and I still do. For Forty years she’s taken care of me. Our marriage has never wavered.”
To this day, all Bayne ever cares about after being so badly wounded and disabled – with every right to be upset at being sent to a war where he lost part of his body and his independence – is telling people how much he loves America.
He firmly said, “This is the greatest country in the world. Those men on the Vietnam wall, they died for this great country, and I sure respect every one of them. I knew some of them close and personal. I knew what kind of great Americans they were. I saw what they did over there, what we had to do. I was right there with them.”
“The veterans is who I care about. The ones that got killed, those that got hurt, those who came back to try to live afterward. These wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, too. When the soldiers come back; we better take care of them.”
“America didn’t give up on me. The people around here didn’t give up on me. I died twice in Vietnam, but I’m still here.”
The Quilts of Valor Foundation has not given up on him either. Mr. Jacky Bayne will be among 75 veterans to be awarded a Quilt of Valor on Saturday, November 21st. The ceremony will be at Aldersgate United Methodist Church – 2115 Celanese Rd in Rock Hill, SC. The veterans will meet and greet at 1:30 PM with the awards ceremony to start at 2:30 PM.