Master Sgt. Max Beilke (USA Ret.)

Master Sgt. Max  Beilke (USA Ret.)

RET. MASTER SGT. MAX BEILKE, 69, officially was the last American combat soldier to leave Vietnam in 1973. He was a civilian employee at the Pentagon who worked on veterans issues. Beilke, who was drafted in the Korean War, was the kid who'd always had a fishing pole in his hand, joined the U.S. Army and saw the world, said his sister, Lucille Johnson. "We could see him leaving (Vietnam) on television," Johnson said of her brother's return. "We all just beamed because we knew he'd soon be home safely."

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