Kansas Stories

Gary Bartlett, Dighton

Greensburg Kansas High School
May 28, 2011

Gary was born in Ransom, KS and raised in Dighton, KS where he played sports, went to school and worked to earn spending money.  He graduated in 1965 and was drafted in to the Army in November 1966 a few days before his 20th birthday.  After completing his training, he was sent to Viet Nam in June 1967 where he served in the 25th and then the 4th Infantry Division as a foot soldier.  On February 12, 1968 he stepped on a land mine, which left him with numerous wounds and eventually both legs were taken out of the hip socket.  After numerous surgeries in four different hospitals, almost 2 years later, he was released on January 1, 1970.  During his physical therapy his PT told him that he could not ride a horse because he had no legs.  Well, he showed her by pulling himself up on top of a horse and later had a saddle made for him so that he could learn to rope as a healer.

During this time, Gary met his first wife, got married, moved back to Dighton and had a Daughter, Ann Marie, whom his life revolves around.  Today, he is married to LaVera, a classmate and friend, and she has 4 children and 7 grandchildren which he has become very close to and loves being a grandpa.  Gary still loves fishing, hunting, watching birds, shark tooth hunting and arrowhead hunting.  Gary says “despite what I have been through, my life has been blessed and interesting.”