Rohe Track Era All About Us!

 

DENIS FLOOD

Pictures:  Left -- Private First Class Denis Flood in Vietnam; Right -- Freshman Denis Flood winning the 800 meter run at the 1970 Martin Luther King Games in Philadelphia in 1:48.6.

UT Track:  1969-1973; Distance Runner (XC, 440 & 880); Team Captain (1971), SEC Champion -- Indoor Two-Mile Relay (1971).

Military Service:  USMC, 1966-1969; Locations -- Vietnam; Yokota Naval Hospital (Japan); St. Albans Navy Hospital (New York); Marine Corps Base (Quantico, Virginia).

Vietnam:  1967-1968, Company "M," 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Wounds -- shrapnel stomach wound, shrapnel head wound, fractured skull, broken left shoulder, burns on hands and chest; hospitalized for four months--cumulative

Medals:  Silver Star, Two Purple Hearts, Expert Rifle Badge, Various Campaign Medals

Silver Star Citation (In Part):  For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company "M," 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines on 13 and 14 May 1967 in operations against elements of the North Vietnamese Army in the Republic of Vietnam. During Operation UNION, conducted in the vicinity of Phouc Duc (4), Quang Tin Province, Company "M" came under attack at 1230, 13 May 1967 by an unknown size enemy force using small arms, machine guns, and mortars. Private First Class Flood courageously moved to the aid of several Marines who had become casualties. As directed by the Corpsman on the scene, he conducted an evacuation of these Marines across 250 meters of fire-swept terrain to the designated helicopter landing zone, returning each trip with much neede3d machine gun and small arms ammunition. At 0001, 14 May 1967, the Company defensive perimeter came under intense enemy mortar, machine gun, and small arms preparations fires followed by a coordinated enemy assault. Suffering from wounds received in the initial mortar barrage, Private First Class Flood exhibited aggressive determination and courage by repeatedly exposing himself to the enemy attack, moving from position to position to ensure the resupply and distribution of ammunition. Assuming a leadership role, Private First Class Flood fearlessly remained in the front line position bolstering the fighting spirit of his rifle squad while personally delivering over 300 rounds of accurate and deadly fire into the assaulting enemy. His exceptional fighting spirit and initiative contributed in great measure to blunting the enemy attack. By his daring action, complete disregard for personal safety, and steadfast devotion to duty, Private First Class Flood reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Comments from Denis Flood:  Chuck Rohe helped me navigate through a rough period of my life, where my new friends were championship athletes and my old friends were working as disabled veterans trying to cope with their destroyed lives. Thirty-thousand students were at UT at the time and no one gave a damn about Vietnam, save a few ROTC squadrons and a handful of hippies who the cops were beating the crap out of on a daily basis. So, I was alone for the most part, and track was my savior. Coach got me jobs on campus to help pay for school, then, a scholarship when my time came. He was a tough man to run for, but very fair. He kept his word on a number of issues with me. Coach was out there in the am for practice, then, all afternoon, and finally, back to the office to recruit for football. He helped Coach Dickey win a hundred football games with the athletes he brought in. Coach had a low tolerance for whiners, because he never whined himself. I tore my Achilles tendon stepping on the inside rail at UCLA during a mile run. Two operations later, my running career was over. Coach Rohe was gone by then and San Huntsman was our new coach. He continued the success. Getting blown up in Vietnam once a week and I'm still in one piece---running around a circle in the middle of the day, and I become a cripple. Talk about irony. But I just loved UT: all of it: school, sports, all of our championship track and XC teams, my teammates and pals. We won the SEC in XC, indoor and outdoor track almost every year----what a run----and what a day! I am truly a fortunate person for having lived that life.