Several weeks later, the Army told Higdon he was going to Fort Lewis, Wash. He said he would rather be assigned to Fort Sill, which was closer to home.
“I’d have been much better off at Fort Lewis,” he said, chuckling. “I spent all my time driving back and forth home.”
Higdon spent the next two years at Fort Sill, where he served as a motor pool sergeant. He was discharged in May 1972, nearly four years after he enlisted.
Following his discharge, Higdon became a truck driver and went to college, where he earned a degree in history. He watched TV so he could keep up with the news from Vietnam, but he did not want to discuss his time there with anyone.
The war finally ended in April 1975, and Higdon’s first thought concerned the soldiers who would be coming home. But he kept silent about his military service, taking refuge inside his truck so he wouldn’t have to talk to people.
In the late 1980s, Higdon finally felt comfortable about discussing his experience with other people.
“It seems like sometimes when I talk about it, I feel so good for a while,” he said, “and then life sets back in. But it made a difference, and it’s helped me overcome some of it.”