Gary Lehnen was born in 1948 in Kansas. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 3, 1967, and completed basic training at NTC San Diego, California, in December 1967. After attending Fireman Apprentice A School, Seaman Lehnen served as a fireman aboard the tugboat USS Koka (ATA-185) out of Naval Base San Diego from March 1968 to January 1969, followed by Engineman training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, from January to September 1969. His next assignment was with River Division 592 in South Vietnam from September 1969 until he was captured and taken as a Prisoner of War on a PDR in Cambodia on February 5, 1970. He was released by his Cambodian captors on February 28, 1970, and then served with Naval Support Activity Saigon, South Vietnam, from June to September 1970, and with Naval Support Activity Binh Thuy, South Vietnam, from September to December 1970. ENFN Lehnen's final assignment was as an engineman aboard the combat stores ship USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) from September 1970 until his honorable discharge from the Navy on October 6, 1971.
The Sailor's Creed:
I am a United States Sailor.
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
I proudly serve my country's Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment.
I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.