WAYNE ALLEN HINRICHS
Branch: U. S. Army
Rank: Spec 4
Status: Honorable discharge
Date of Service: Vietnam War
Home Town: Dudley Township
1. Wayne Hinrichs in Vietnam 2. In the jungle of Vietnam: L to R: Ralph, Wayne, Rick, Nick and Morris
Wayne Allen Hinrichs was born February 27, 1950 in Shevlin, Minnesota to parents Dick and Marie Wilson Hinrichs. He grew to adulthood on his parent’s farm on the Clearwater River in Dudley Township. He had seven siblings: Dolores (Johnson), Elaine (Hanson), Daryl, Les, Carol (Hendricks), June (Ward), and Sandi (Malterud.)
He attended elementary school at Riverview country school and graduated from Bagley High School in 1968. Following graduation he worked on the grain elevators until he was drafted into the Army in 1969.
Wayne was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington for basic training and advanced infantry training (AIT) also at Fort Lewis. On March 6, 1970 he left for duty in Vietnam, arriving in Long Binh. He served with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, supporting the invasion of Cambodia (Operation Binh Tay) in May 1970, until the 199th was withdrawn from South Vietnam in the fall of 1970. He was then attached to the 25th Infantry Division until the 25th also began to be withdrawn in the spring of 1971. Wayne was released from active duty on April 12, 1971 after spending 13 months in Vietnam.
Wayne was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He returned home to Dudley Township and went to work for Thorson, Inc. in Bemidji first as a teamster and then as an operator. He worked for the company and its successive owners for 39 years. He married Becky Blanshan in 1973, built a home and became father to three children: Aaron, Gillian (Beach) and Emily.