In commemoration of Armistice Day, the Chelsea State Bank dedicated the south wall in its lobby in November to honoring Chelsea residents who had served in the military.  One of those honored was Michael Muha who served in Vietnam and then at Fort Hood, TX  from 1968 to 1971 as a computer specialist. Mr. Muha now brings his skill with computers to the service of the Adult Learners Institute (ALI) of Chelsea. Anyone who has taken an ALI class has seen him.  Or if not him, we have seen his work. He is the quiet gentlemen sitting behind the cameras, adjusting the microphone of the instructor, making sure that a PowerPoint presentation runs smoothly and generally supervising the technology so that the classes run well. Without him, instructors who might be technologically challenged would simply not be able to deliver the quality classes which have become ALI’s trademark. While an instructor or a student may attend a class for an hour or two a week, Mr. Muha or a member of the AV team attends every class ALI offers.

This is his story.

I joined the UA Army in May 1968. After basic and advanced training, I was selected for additional training in computerized logistical support, then immediately sent to Vietnam. I was temporarily assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Camp Eagle, then to a permanent assignment as a computer specialist and then, when my replacement arrived much earlier than anticipated, a courier with the First Logistical Command in Phu Bai, which is between Danang and Hue.  I was one of the fortunate ones who didn’t see any actual combat, although we were hit by rockets and mortars regularly.

After my Vietnam duty was over, I still had some time left in my enlistment. I was stationed at Fort Hood, TX and assigned to a Department of Defense research project as custodian of classified documents. I ended my service in January 1971 and returned to my university studies.  

In January 2020, I traveled back to Vietnam with my wife, Cathy, and another Vietnam veteran friend and his wife. It’s a beautiful country and the people were wonderful. The country certainly has changed since we were there fifty years ago. Big cities like Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi are cosmopolitan and busy, no military or police presence. Where I was stationed, what was a dirt road and rice paddies is now a 4-lane highway with shops and businesses lining each side.

We were welcomed everywhere we went. Our guide arranged a meeting with a former Viet Cong soldier. His wife prepared a great lunch for us and we shared his homemade rice wine. He told us he holds no animosity toward us personally, that it is those in power who start the wars and people like us who fight and die in them.

Here are a couple photos: Driving a deuce and a half (2 ½ ton truck) and getting ready for guard duty.

Mike Muha driving a deuce and a half (2 ½ ton truck)Mike Muha Army guard duty