The Silver Star
Colonel/Reverend Paul (Dickie) Longgrear is a native of Jonesboro, AR. He graduated from High School in 1961 and attended ASU off and on until 1965, when he was drafted into the US Army.
He attended Officer Candidate School shortly after entering the Army. Following graduation he volunteered for Airborne, Ranger and Special Forces (Green Beret) training. In October 1967 he arrived in Vietnam and was given command of an elite Mobile Strike (MiKE) Force company. In February of 1968 he responded to an attack on a border surveillance outpost. He led his company in defense of the Lang Vei Special Forces camp on the Laotian border amidst the Ho Chi Minh trail.
The North Vietnamese Regiment attacked with three (3) Infantry Battalions, a battalion of 16 Russian PT-76 tanks supported by Artillery. During the 15 hour battle, 1LT Longgrear destroyed two enemy tanks with shoulder fired anti-tank weapons, killed a four-man sapper team and knocked out a machine gun. He then led six of his men in a break out of an enemy encirclement.
1LT Longgrear volunteered for two more tours of duty in Vietnam. He was wounded five times, awarded the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars for valor, the Combat Infantry Badge and two Vietnamese government awards for valor.
In 1976, he transferred from the active component to the reserves and went into full time Christian ministry. During the next 20 years he pastored four churches and preached in prisons for three years. He and his wife, Patty, ran a youth camp for four summers and spent three years as a missionary serving in Israel and the Former Soviet Union.
In 2007 Colonel Longgrear was inducted into Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame and in 2011 was inducted into the US Army Ranger Hall of Fame.
Reverend Longgrear has a BS in Mass Media Communications and a MA in Christian Counseling. He and Mrs Longgrear have been married for 47 years and have three children and seven grandchildren. They currently reside in Pine Mountain, GA.