Raúl Herrera is a decorated Vietnam War Veteran. He volunteered for the Navy in September 1965 and received an Honorable Discharge after four years of service. His one-year tour of duty in Vietnam began in April 1967. He served aboard a 50-foot aluminum-hulled combat vessel, PCF-79 (Patrol Craft Fast), commonly known as a Swift Boat.
The six-man crew was personally congratulated and awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry by Premier Nguyễn Cao Kỳ and Chief of State Nguyễn Văn Thiệu for the capture of a North Vietnamese resupply trawler. He served on the Board of the Swift Boat Sailors Association from 1995 to 2013, for the last six years as president.
As a freelance writer he has written for Vietnam magazine and Viva! magazine, a supplement to the former Houston Post. He has been a board director and contributing writer for Nuestras Vidas magazine, an English-written periodical featuring stories of successful Hispanics in Houston, Texas. Sea Classics magazine published his “Victory at Sa Ky River” article in their February 2016 issue. Swift Boat skipper Guy Gugliotta and Herrera co-authored “Skunk Alpha,” an article commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Sa Ky River Victory. It appeared in the July 14, 2017, issue of the New York Times.
The author was selected as one of the top ten national finalists in the Books for Life Foundation, New Voices in Literature Awards in 2003. He also contributed historical research for Medal of Honor—A Vietnam Warrior’s Story (M. Sgt. Roy P. Benavidez, SF, Ret.).
The Skunk Alpha incident has been featured in four books: Brown Water, Black Berets by Thomas J. Cutler; They Answered the Call: Latinos in the Vietnam War by Gil Dominguez; White Water Red Hot Lead by Dan Daly; and, War in the Shallows by John Darrell Sherwood.
His Oral Histories have been recorded by Voces Oral History Project, The University of Texas Austin; the United States Navy Memorial Washington, D.C.; StoryCorps; The 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Campaign; and the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Veteran Stories. In addition, the Houston, Texas CBS affiliate KHOU-TV aired two First Sunday interviews of his book and time on Swift Boats in Vietnam. His latest interview can be found in the Stuff of Life YouTube channel.
Mr. Herrera retired from Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation, Houston, Texas in 2010. He was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He and his wife, Luz Analida, live in Richmond, Texas.
Post 8790 Houston
Houston Writers Guild
Military Writers Society of America
Toastmasters Sugar Land, TX