Irishman who fought in Vietnam war and received medals for bravery passes away
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Irishman who fought in Vietnam war and received medals for bravery passes away

AN IRISHMAN who fought valiantly in the Vietnam war has passed away at the age of 75.

Michael Coyne, who is from Galway and emigrated to Chicago when he was just 16 years old, fought with the US Army in the Vietnam War after being drafted in 1967.

The young soldier served as a back deck machine gunner on the tanks that performed search and destroy missions on the Ho Chi Minh trail, and received a number of awards for bravery for his time served in the war.

Five Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars for Bravery for saving his fellow soldiers led him to be a highly decorated officer by the time the war ended more than ten years later-- but it was photography and film where his true passion lay.

According to RTÉ, Mr Coyne used his first army paycheck to buy a 8mm camera and made a video diary of his life on the front lines of the war which claimed 3 million Vietnamese lives, and the lives of 60,000 US and other foreign soldiers.

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Following the war, Mr Coyne returned to Ireland and settled in County Meath-- but he returned to Vietnam in 2005 for an RTÉ documentary which saw him travel the same trail as he had more than 40 years previously.

His remarkable life came to an end on Sunday, 9 August, when he passed away in Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown following a short illness, his family say.

He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, three children and four grandchildren.

May he rest in peace.