Techsans in the Vietnam War: Profile

Techsans in the Vietnam War

James Wayne Gent

25 December 1941
Class of '70

James Gent
1st Marine Division Patch
1st Marine Division Patch
James Wayne Gent was born on December 25, 1941, and grew up in Kaufman, Texas. He joined the Marine Corps and trained as a sniper at Camp Pendleton's sniper school in the spring of 1967. Later that year, he went to Vietnam and served as a sniper for I Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, which operated in the Da Nang area. On January 30, 1968, his platoon went on a mission to confront an NVA battalion in a nearby village. The battle between the two units was fierce, and that night while on guard duty, Gent was wounded by an enemy grenade, suffering shrapnel wounds to his head for which he earned a Purple Heart. After he was discharged from the hospital, he stayed in Vietnam serving as a courier, body guard, and escort until he returned home in October 1968. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in 1970 and earned a JD in law from South Texas College of Law in Houston. He practiced law in his home town of Kaufman and served as a county judge for twenty years before retiring in December 2010.