ORRINGTON – A grandson to a Vietnam veteran recovered a special item for his grandfather and gave him a new story to tell as well.
Paul Mott is a Vietnam veteran. “I was in Vietnam from December ’68 to Dec ’69 southeast of Saigon on the coast in-country R&R spot.”
He did a 12-month tour as a military police officer but it was the summer of 69′ he would never forget.
“We had four times a day that they fed us and one of the meals I go into the mass hall and you take your hat off and set it on the counter that they had provided for you,” said Mott.
Little did Paul know that would be the last time he’d see his helmet. Something that meant a whole lot to him.
“While I was eating the Aussies had already been in there, and my helmet was obviously closest to the door. So he kind of just reached out took it with him out the door,” Mott said.
His grandson, Brayden, had heard the story of this helmet his whole life and knew he had to get it back to his grandfather one way or another. So Brayden and his mother took a trip to Australia after Brayden raised enough money for the trip.
“Two things we knew about the person who took it was his name and his address,” Brayden Mott said.
His grandfather spoke with Bob Sutton in 2003. Bob told Paul he took the helmet to show people at home what the Americans had for headgear, “Again had asked him if he would send the helmet back he says no if you want it, you’ve got to come get it,” said Mott.
When Brayden and his family went to Australia they met up with Bob’s wife and grandson.
“He didn’t want to give it up but he knew that if one of his family members was so close to getting it then it was time to give it up,” said Brayden.
Brayden said his grandfather was at a loss for words when he brought it back to him.
“It was kind of crazy the joy he had of seeing it for the first time in 50 years it was awesome,” Brayden said.