MILTON — Rodney Snyder was a young man who wanted to serve his country. In 1968, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.
During his time in the corps, Snyder was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for specialized training. He was then sent to Okinawa, Japan, for 30 days, and then to Vietnam.
A corporal, Snyder was a squad leader, responsible for 14 men. Their primary duty was to provide close air support for the ground troops. They also provided critical support for the jets taking off and landing at Da Nang Air Base. This was a major base, and vital to the Americans.
His squad would patrol the perimeters of the base, as well as other areas, often during the night when the enemy was most active. During one of these patrols, Snyder was injured. He was taken to Japan Naval Hospital, and then sent stateside for medical care. He was at St. Auburn Hospital in Queens, N.Y., and later at the Marine Barracks in New York.
Snyder received two Purple Hearts for the injuries he sustained in combat.
After his recovery, Snyder received an honorable discharge and returned to his home in Mifflinburg. There, he met his future wife Susan.
Snyder, who is now a resident at the Milton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, worked as a contractor and union bricklayer. He built two homes for his family, which included two daughters.
Snyder is a proud member of the Mifflinburg VFW, and has participated in many military funerals honoring veterans. He has made trips to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., never forgetting those who served along side him, and did not come home.