He served during both the Cold War and Vietnam. Sam Raber, of Holden, had a military career that spanned from the early 1950s to the 90s. The now 79-year-old completed his last parachute jump at the age of 60. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Raber:
Information from the 173rd Airborne Brigade: Sky Soliders (Turner Publishing 2006)
Sam W. Raber was born June 1, 1933 in Holden. Entered the service June 1953 with basic at Fort Riley, KS and Jump School at Fort Benning, GA. Assigned to C Co., 505th Regt., 82nd Abn. Div., Fort Bragg, NC and separated from service in May 1955, remaining in the Army Reserve Components. Volunteered for Vietnam service and entered active duty in May 1967 with assignment to B Co., 3/503rd Inf., 173rd Abn. Bde. (that was recently formed) and trained at Fort Bragg. Arrived at Qui Nhon, Vietnam via ship with 3rd Bn. from Oakland Army Terminal in October 1967. He was soon assigned to newly formed D Co., 3rd Bn., as 81st Mortar Platoon sergeant. He was involved in operations around Tuy Hoa, Kontum, Bong Son and other areas until May 1968.
He was inspired by sacrifices made by troopers of the 173rd and considers service in the 173rd Bde. to have been a great privilege. He held rank of platoon sergeant while in brigade and CSM in USAR. Awards include Comabt Infantry Badge, Master Parachute Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Canadian Parachutist Badge.