TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO-WAWV) – Hometown Hero Clint Batcheller of Robinson, Il survived being wounded during combat in Vietnam. Then, following months of recovery, he returned to the battlefield, with a new mission and new dangers.
After recovering from a grenade blast and malaria, a young Clint Batcheller headed back into
battle. During his first tour, he was a member of the infantry of the 1st Cavalry. But he took to the skies in Scout Helicopters for his second tour of duty in 1968. He was gunner on a three man
“90 perecent of the time I flew as the gunner because I just didn’t trust anyone else with the main gun on the ship,” said Batcheller.
Batcheller flew a lot, an average of four missions a day for the entire tour. He says the Scout choppers were called “hunter killers” and it was dangerous.
“Our purpose was to find the enemy to decide what to do with them and if if possible we were supposed to do whatever use whatever resources we had to kill or destroy, the enemy, the equipment or anything,” said Batcheller.
Enemy fire was constant and damage to the choppers happened frequently.
“I never had one completely shot down where we were out of control that several of them
We had to land immediately because the aircraft just shaking apart,” said Batcheller.
Even though he was in harms way, he wounded again in an unlikely location. He was
enjoying R and R, when an enemy rocket hit a building, and he took shrapnel to the
arm and shoulder.
“Shrapnel is red hot when it explodes, so a lot of times it was almost seal itself and it sealed itself, but it was bleeding in there,” Batcheller remembered.
He was slated for a third tour in Nam, but he eventually was sent back to the states,
where for a time, participated in peace riot control in Washington D.C.
“I didn’t like it at all, you know the we weren’t pro war we were doing what our country told,” said Batcheller.
Between his first and second tours, he traveled with a friend to Illinois and he met his
friend’s sister. Her name was Micky and the romance led to talk of marriage, but not while Clint served in Vietnam
“I didn’t want her to be a widow,” said Batcheller.
“I spent a lot of time in prayer and I wrote letters every day and planned a wedding,” said Micky Batcheller.
In combat, many soldiers rely on their faith, but Batcheller, never did. He called it a professional approach, relying on his training and on his men. He admittedly was not right with God.
That changed after during his time at Ft. Knox in Kentucky, when he met a retired Lt.
Col. who encouraged him to attend a Baptist church. Eventually, his faith grew and the
direction of his life changed.
“It was like a light turned on, now i really understand and i can see,” said Batcheller.
After 20 years in the military, Batcheller decided to pursue the ministry. Micky had
always prayed for him, but she never expected the ministry.
“Just looking back you can see God working in all of it,” said Micky.
Eventually, he served as a pastor for some churches in Illinois. The couple also raised three children and they have an extended family which includes a son-in-law who is a pastor.
Looking back When Clint Batcheller was a soldier, the word surrender was never even
considered. But as his faith grew, surrender was key to his life, his eternal life
“And for a man that’s a hard thing to do, because I realized there was no way I could save myself, i had to depend on Jesus Christ and his sacrifice and what he did on the cross for me,”said Batcheller.