BEND, OR -- Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) honored David Klym Tuesday morning. The Crooked River Ranch man is a former Huey Helicopter crewman who logged 528 hours of flight time during multiple tours in Vietnam. "David's honorable military service qualified him for several distinguished medals, awards, and certificates to recognize his bravery and service to our nation," Walden said during the small ceremony at his downtown Bend office. He presented Klym with the Bronze Star, the Air Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal. "Though we can never repay the debt of gratitude we owe to the men and women who have worn our nation's uniform and served our country," said Walden, "We can, however, recognize them for their devotion to country and to protecting our freedoms." He called Klym a brave man who "served our nation valiantly and in uniform."
Klym says he never thought of himself as heroic. "It's a challenge, I think, when I think of heroes, it's one thing, when you go out every day and get ready to climb into the ship, and you're thinking about it, and you think, 'you know, I'm probably going to get shot at today.' But you know, it's still what your job is." He told the small gathering, "The Thing that I want to do is just give credit to those that died, most in service there, and I think our thoughts should always be with them and their families." Klym says his service may have been nearly 50 years ago, but if he were called upon to defend his nation again, he wouldn't hesitate. "All I can say is, I was just doing my job. All in all, looking at that experience, that's definitely something that I would do again, without even a second thought about it."