Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Walter Stinner, who served as an aviation ordnance man in the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1968.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Walter Stinner, who served as an aviation ordnance man in the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1968.

Walter Stinner was born in July 1947 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. After graduating from high school, Stinner enlisted in the Navy in 1965 at age 17 to see the world. He went to Great Lakes, Illinois, for basic training, which he described as a “rude awakening,” but he learned discipline and adapted well to the military lifestyle.

Following basic training, Stinner attended Naval Aviation Ordnance school in Jacksonville, Florida, learning how to prepare bombs, arms and missiles on an aircraft. He joined aviation ordnance and went to USS Saratoga, an aircraft carrier, with Attack Squadron 106. In 1966, Stinner spent seven months aboard USS Saratoga in the Mediterranean Sea. He worked on the flight deck as a final checker, ensuring the aircraft was armed and ready to fire. He endured the “dangerous working atmosphere,” and enjoyed visiting Italy, Spain, Malta and Greece.

In October 1966, Stinner returned from the Mediterranean and trained for combat situations at Naval Air Station (NAS) Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida.

He joined USS Forrestal in March 1967, which began its journey in Norfolk, Virginia, and traveled to the Caribbean for training. In July 1967, USS Forrestal docked at Subic Bay in the Philippines and rested for one week before sailing to Yankee Station off the coast of North Vietnam. There, Stinner worked long days loading 250 to 1,000-pound bombs onto aircraft.

On July 29, 1967, an explosion on the flight deck caused over 20 planes to blow up. Stinner and the crew worked hard to avoid further explosions by pushing planes off the ship while the fire crew addressed the initial explosion. Their actions saved many lives on USS Forrestal, as well as the ship from destruction. On that day, 134 sailors, including many of Stinner’s friends, lost their lives and 161 were injured. USS Forrestal cut the nine month deployment short, sailing back to Subic Bay and then to Norfolk, Virginia.

Stinner spent the rest of his time in the Navy at NAS Cecil Field and on USS Intrepid. He honorably discharged as a petty officer third class on May 31, 1968.

Thank you for your service!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at


Writer: Alexis Gillie

Editors: Alexander Reza and Theresa Lyon

Fact checker: Patrick E. Woods

Graphic artist: Brittany Gorski

By VAntage Point Contributor

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Published on Jan. 4, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.6 min.

Views to date: 315

One Comment

  1. Tonya Walker January 5, 2022 at 7:39 am

    When I first started receiving care in the milledgeville ga va clinic. My provider peltier told me to put your purse down and have a seat in a mad way. Okay I had a seat and did not want to fuss with her I just met her. She kept and talking to me in a mad way when I asked her a question. Could not wait for her to calm down. I asked for my diabetic meter last year about two months ago she was slow to responding to my care. The meter did not come in four days and I called her nurse again she says it’s not in the computer and let me tell her to put it in the computer again. Then it took about 10 days before I received my meter by mail. I asked for another provider and I told her nurse to have her to call me and she says the provider won’t call you but you must come in and see her. So I did. She I have to go where she says go for x-rays and not in my community and va won’t pay for the care. I live far away. Can’t reach director when wants to. I navy veteran Tonya Walker has been treated very badly. And overlooked as a navy veteran. Long journey with these providers. I hope that know one goes through what I have been through mistreat ment from milledgeville ga va clinic. Fix matter for me. Love country I have served
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