Each day, the VA honors a special military veteran for their dedicated service on their blog, VAntage Point. Today’s veteran is Army Veteran Vincent P. De Rosa, who served as a computer systems operator during the Vietnam War.
Vincent P De Rosa grew up in Illinois and attended Lee Automation after High School, which taught him to type on data entry machines such as tabulating machines, which processed computer card data.
De Rosa enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam draft and attended basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and then went for advanced training in computer operations at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
De Rosa served with the Army Security Agency monitoring and gathering military intelligence from the Soviet Union, China, and their allies. After training at Litton Industries, De Rosa and his team deployed to Vietnam with the 175th Radio Research Company as part of the 303rd RR Battalion, 509th RR Group operating small computers designed for mobile use in the field.
While working at the Bien Hoa Air Base in southern Vietnam, De Rosa served as a guard for the base, which was frequently targeted with rocket and mortar attacks. Unfortunately, the small field computers proved unable to handle the intense heat and the project was cancelled after only six months.
For the remainder of his service in Vietnam, De Rosa served as a clerk for the 175th RR Company. He was there for several campaigns and attacks on the base, including the February 1969 Tet Counteroffensive.
In 1970, De Rosa worked on a computer team stationed at Kagnew Station Army Base in Asmara, Ethiopia, tracking Ethiopian television stations until 1972 when he transferred to the inactive reserve until he was discharged in 1974.
De Rosa received numerous medals for his work in Vietnam, including an Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Badge with Palm.
De Rosa then settled in Winfield, Illinois and worked for the Northwest Community Hospital in the hospital’s Information Technology Department. After retiring, he volunteered at the Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, where he still serves as a secretary and clerk. He also helps escort patients and families to hospital rooms.
De Rosa has been a member of the Knights of Columbus since 1968 and has served as a grand knight, fraternal navigator and district deputy. He also is a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Thank you for your service!