My step-dad is a vet. He enlisted in the Air Force during the Vietnam war and was stationed mostly in Texas, but did go to Vietnam for a year to do…well, it’s classified (as they say). Back when I was doing my PhD, I was taking a class that had an oral history component to it. Part of the assignment was to interview someone and look for “turning points” in their lives that were profound. I interviewed my dad/step-dad about his life and, more specifically, his time in Vietnam. When I was growing up, he never really talked much about his time there. Mostly, he talked about the friends he made in the Air Force when he was stationed in Texas and the motorcycle trips he took with his buddies — when he could get away from his job at the base.
But when I interviewed him for my graduate project, he did open up about Vietnam. It was quite revealing and spoke about why it was something he wanted to forget — but because the experiences were so extreme at times, it was nearly impossible to do so.
Anyway, I won’t go into a long post about it. Mostly what I want to say is “Thank you, Danny” for serving our country during a very difficult time.