Powell was shipped to Vietnam in May of 1969 where he was assigned to the 262d QM (Quarter Master) Battalion, POL (Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants), 1st Logistical Command, located in Cam Ranh Bay, that supplied fuel and other petroleum products throughout the II Corps Area.
He volunteered for door gunner duty in August of 1969 and was transferred to A Co/229th AHB (Assault Helicopter Battalion), 1st Cavalry Division in Tay Ninh in III Corps. His last two months in country were spent working as Operations NCO for the same unit.
As a Sp4, Powell was awarded the Air Medal with 15 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with V device, and the Bronze Star with V device while flying as a door gunner on the UH-1H Assault Helicopter. He ETS'd at Oakland on his return to CONUS in July of 1970.
Powell attended four years at the University of Alabama in Birmingham but did not graduate. He majored in biology, with a minor in ecology.
Powell now lives in Birmingham with his wife of 21 years, Theresa. His daughter, Treva Rhea, and her husband, are expecting a child; and Powell also has a son, Christopher.
Powell is a lifetime member of the VHCMA (Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Assn.) and the DAV (Disabled American Veterans). At present, he is in treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Powell wrote "Pappy" in memorial for all the young men he fought beside and for.
The Only Coward I Knew