Curtis "Curt" Bensen
|Rank||Petty Officer Second Class, Seabees Builder|
Proudly served his country in Vietnam with Mobile Construction Battalion 5 from 1966-67 where he used his carpentry skills in support of the Battalion's mission. From 1967-68 he was selected to serve in Thailand with Seabee Team 0512 where his knowledge and experience proved invaluable to the Team's efforts to improve the lives of rural Thai villagers. His family is proud of his service to the country.
Curt was working as a builder in 1966 when his nation called upon him to serve his country. He was about to be drafted into the army when he visited a navy recruiting office. He was immediately encouraged to join the Navy Seabees and use his building skills to serve. He did his basic training in Rhode Island and then was assigned to Mobile Construction Battalion # 5 in Port Hueneme, California. He married Anne in between basic training and his assignment to MCB 5. Together they traveled to California where they lived for two and a half months. He was sent to Viet Nam in September of 1966 and served there in the Da Nang area. He was a squad leader and worked on several building projects in support of other troops. One of the assignments was outside the hospital and when helicopters arrived with wounded men he and his squad were called upon to comfort and carry the wounded into the hospital. This took its emotional toll but in the military spirit, he and the others would carry on.
He spent nine months in Viet Nam. While there he was selected for a special team that would be formed and the following year go to Thailand to work with their border patrol police and to work on many humanitarian building projects. The team had thirteen men representing differing skills. They trained together for three months before being deployed to Thailand. You will hear more about the team as we move to the other plaque honoring the whole team.
After almost ten months the team returned to Port Hueneme and in a few weeks Curt completed his military service. Since Curt and Anne had gotten married right before going to California when he was discharged they stayed in the area and after more than fifty years... here in California they remain. They have three adult children and four teen age grandchildren who fill their lives with joy and pride.