Available March 1, 2018
Soldiering After the Vietnam War: Changed Soldiers in a Changed Country is a story about personal struggle. After doing the job my country sent me to do, I returned home to a country that had changed. The war in Vietnam was a very unpopular war. Returning soldiers were despised and vilified by many Americans at home. There were few “Welcome Home” signs, cheers, or parades. Instead, often there were protestors. There was hate, name-calling, and disrespect. Young soldiers already impacted by their combat experiences in Vietnam now had to deal with the depression, anger, and resentment caused by their fellow countrymen.
Despite this, I continued to serve my country. Staying in the Army, I rose through the ranks: Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Drill Sergeant, and First Sergeant, finally becoming an instructor at the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA) and retiring after 20 years of service. This heartfelt story is one of perseverance and success.
My story isn’t about war, but of service to country, and the consequences of that service on soldiers and their families. There are no claims that I had an extraordinary career but my career did coincide with extraordinary times within the Army and I met extraordinary soldiers, NCOs, and officers along the way.
When I Turned Nineteen Soldiering After the Vietnam War