Sager McDill was drafted into the US Army at age 23, even though he was married and was an only child. “It seemed like they took our whole class from Westinghouse High School,” he recalls.
After basic training he was assigned to the 9th Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, an old WWII division that was reactivated for the Vietnam War. Sager was then sent to Vietnam in December 1966 to begin combat operations in the Mekong River Delta in Dinh Tuong and Long An provinces with the 5th Battalion, 60th Regiment of the 9th Division (Armored Personnel Carriers). Chuck Hagel, current Secretary of Defense, also served in the 9th Division in Vietnam at the same time as squad leader.
Sager also served as squad leader under his company commander, 1st Liutenant Larry Garner–the legendary “Bandido Charlie.” Garner earned a reputation as an eccentric and aggressive combat leader. Eventually Sager was transferred to the Mobile Riverine Force, a joint Army/Navy operation called “the Brown Water Navy,” which fought in the massive Delta region.