Imagine a decorated war hero who answered that answered the nation’s call by serving four tours in Vietnam, sacrificing their freedom for 23 years. This is the story of Sergeant First Class Sam “Duke” Caulder.
At the age of 18, Duke enlisted in the Army in 1953, being stationed in many countries that included Korea and Germany. He received military orders to fight the battles in Vietnam. Without protest, he humbly accepted his assignment and did like many men did, fought an unpopular war.
For his bravery and dedication to this grateful country, SFC Caulder was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart with an oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star with Valor with 3 oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. Sergeant Caulder was also awarded the distinguished Master Parachute Badge for participating in 65 jumps to include 25 jumps with combat equipment; four night jumps five mass tactical jumps which culminate in an airborne assault problem with a unit equivalent to a battalion or larger, a separate company/battery, or organic staff of a regiment size or larger; graduated from the Jumpmaster Course; and served in jump status with an airborne unit or other organization authorized parachutists for a total of at least 36 months.
He was assigned to the Airborne Division B Company 508th Infantry, Company B, 1st Battalion Airborne, 508th Infantry, and the 82nd Airborne Division. In 1986, Duke retired from the Army and begin his transition to civilian life. In his desire to live the “American Dream,” he enrolled at Fayetteville Technical College and obtained his degree in Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Radio and Television Repair.
His battles began and tried to overcome PTSD the best way he knew how. The symptoms and the traumatic events he witnessed from his consecutive tours in Vietnam were too great. He lost his home and sadly, committed suicide in 1988. Like him, many veterans did not receive the help he needed.
J. Denise decided his to honor his memory and legacy by founding Project Street Outreach in December 2012. Her passion and commitment to helping homeless veterans and active duty servicemembers and their immediate family members in crisis goes unnoticed. To ensure veterans look and feel their best, she provides free haircuts, operates a food pantry that houses food, clothes, shoes, personal hygiene. She partners with Mt. Moriah to host a Pre-Thanksgiving event to feed homeless veterans. J. Denise was recognized by four sitting U.S. Presidents, including twice by former President Barack Obama for her dedication in the fight to end homelessness among veterans, one city at a time.
PSO Inc. is in desperate need of a building to house the many food and clothing donations we receive from local stores in the community. Whatever you can donate, no matter how big or small, please visit our website, www.psoinc.org and click on “Get Involved”, “Donate”. We are a non-profit organization and our tax ID is 33-31-1421. Every little helps a veteran and an active duty servicemember and their immediate family members in crisis!
ALWAYS REMEMBERED …NOT FORGOTTEN!