Holland, Michigan resident Dr. Dale Dykema and his wife, Cathy, recently returned from a three-week trip to Vietnam. While it wasn’t the first Vietnam visit for Dykema, it was under far different circumstances. Back in 1968, Dykema had just completed medical school and an internship in Denver, CO when he joined the Navy. Soon after training, Dykema was assigned to Vietnam as a battalion surgeon with the 3rd Marine Division in Quang Tri Province. After serving his tour, Dykema eventually returned to southwest Michigan where he spent more than thirty years practicing medicine until his retirement in 2008. Dykema had occasionally thought about going back to Vietnam but with work and family commitments, he kept putting it off…….until now.
The trip to Vietnam was arranged by the D.O.V.E. Fund. Following his retirement, Dykema became involved with P.E.T. (personal energy transportation) at their assembly facility in Holland, MI. Dykema and the D.O.V.E. Fund came together about a year ago when the two organizations agreed to help the disabled in Vietnam. The P.E.T. device is a three-wheeled, hand-cranked wheelchair which offers the gift of mobility to the disabled.