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Patrick O’Leary, a Highland Park Hospital volunteer and decorated combat veteran, has been invited by the Washington, D.C., National Archives to be interviewed on Veterans Day to share an account of his active duty and service to our country.
After enlisting in 1963, O’Leary went through basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and advanced infantry training at Fort Gordon, Georgia. He then spent five weeks in jump school where five qualifying jumps earned him his Silver Wings.
O’Leary was then assigned to Bravo Company, 1/503rd infantry where he served in Vietnam as an army paratrooper in the 173rd Airborne Brigade from 1964 to 1966, making 21 jumps.
“Except for the loss of lives, I would not change a thing. I am not sorry about, nor do I regret the events I went through,” said O’Leary. “Some of them, as horrific as they could be, were some of the most exhilarating and saddest moments of my life. Others were some of the most loving and enjoyed experiences of my life.”
The 77-year-old has been a NorthShore volunteer for five years after working in NorthShore’s facilities department for more than 30 years!
Thank you, Patrick, for your service to NorthShore and our country!