Daryl Durbin, of Guston, has continued to serve his community even after serving two tours in Vietnam.
Durbin decided he wanted to join the Army when he turned 18 years old. He says that he wanted a purpose in life, and he felt serving his country was the best way to accomplish that. His oldest brother was in the Air Force, and another brother served as a Marine.
After being sworn in on his 18th birthday, Durbin traveled to Ft. Knox to complete his basic training. He then went to Ft. Eustis in Virginia for Advance Individual Training to become a Cobra Helicopter Mechanic. After completing AIT, he was sent to Vietnam, where he stayed for a total of 19 months and 15 days. He says that he did whatever it took to get the job done while he was there.
“It wasn’t a 9-5 job,” said Durbin. “It was 24/7.”
During his deployment, he was able to spend a lot of time in helicopters, and he formed a strong bond with his comrades. He also learned valuable lessons he would carry with him throughout his life.
“My military background help me in my work life later on,” said Durbin. “I always say everything has a place, and everything in its place. It taught me how to do a job right the first time and to treat others the way you’d like to be treated.”
After his deployments, Durbin returned to Kentucky where he worked in the construction business for a few years. In 1975, he met his soon-to-be wife, and they were married in 1976. They traveled to Texas for work, and wound up living there for the next 31 years, where the two raised a daughter and a son. Durbin started out on a drilling rig in the oil field, which he did for almost three years before being hired to work in a chemical plant for Exxon for the next 28 years.
Still, Durbin says he always considered Kentucky his home, so after retiring, he came back to the Guston area.
“I always planned to come back, I just didn’t realize it was going to take me 31 years to do it,” said Durbin.
After moving back, some of his church family invited him to come to their Christian Motorcycle Association meetings and go on some rides with them. The group ministers mainly, but not exclusively, to the motorcycle world, attending secular motorcycle events and setting up hospitality booths.
“Anything we’re able to do, we do,” said Durbin.
Durbin is also involved with the Vietnam Veterans Association in E-Town, where he helped to plan for and construct a Vietnam Memorial replica that’s 80 percent the size of the one in Washington.
Additionally, Durbin has done volunteer work for Brandenburg Police’s COP program and served on various boards for organizations locally.
Durbin’s advice to those considering enlisting is to pick a job that would benefit them once they get out of the military if they don’t plan on making the military their career.