In Piqua, Ohio, local views on the Vietnam War mirrored national attitudes of pride and confusion. Citizens participated in the "Letters for Life" campaign in 1970 for prisoners of war. The military conflict came home in 1966 when William Pitsenbarger became the first of eleven men from Piqua to die in Vietnam. Pitsenbarger graduated from Piqua High School in 1962 and joined the Air Force in 1963. After extensive training, he qualified for Air Force Pararescue duty. In Vietnam, Pitsenbarger served on more than 250 combat missions to rescue individuals, including saving a South Vietnamese soldier from a burning mine field, for which he was awarded the Airman's Medal. On April 11, 1966, Pitsenbarger volunteered for a helicopter medical evacuation mission. When the rescue mission came under Viet Cong fire, the helicopter became disabled and withdrew. Pitsenbarger stayed on the ground to help the wounded. He was killed in action saving the lives of others. He was awarded the Medal of Honor on December 8, 2000. Today, William H. Pitsenbarger's uniform and military decorations are on display in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the US Air Force.
In 1967, Piqua High School graduate and Air Force Major William J. Baugh was shot down over North Vietnam while flying his 50th combat mission. He was taken prisoner and remained a P.O.W. until 1973. Upon Baugh's return to the United States, he attended Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. His final assignments were at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. Baugh retired from active Duty in 1981 with over 2,500 hours of fighter pilot time. He devoted his spare time to serving as editor of a quarterly news letter for a Vietnam POW organization and was a guest lecturer at the Air Force Space Command NCO Academy and Airman Leadership schools. William J. Baugh passed away in 2010.