Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with David C. Brown, Larry J. Tackett, May 19, 1985

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

 

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00:00:06 - Conscription, training, and deployment

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Partial Transcript: Tape one. Uh, Joe and, and David, why don't we start off by just, you know, finding out where you're from originally, and, and what you did prior to your, your military experience.

Segment Synopsis: David Brown and Larry "Joe" Tackett talk about their early experiences getting drafted into the Army, trained, and deployed to Vietnam. David says he was drafted in 1965 and Joe says he was drafted in 1969. David and Joe agree their training experiences differed because of the timing of their respective inductions.

Keywords: 1st Battalion, 66th Armor; 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry; 4th Infantry Division; Advanced infantry training; Airfields; Bell & Howell Company; Bunkers; Drill instructors; Helicopters; Lyndon B. Johnson; Mansfield; Medical examination; Olive Hill (Ky.); Replacements; Sandbags; Tigerland; Troop carriers; Unit training; Vietnam

Subjects: Basic training (Military education); Draft; Fort Hood (Tex.); Fort Knox (Ky.); Fort Lewis (Wash.); Fort Polk (La.); Military training camps; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:05:57 - Going to Vietnam

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Partial Transcript: Joe what do you remember about, uh, going over to Vietnam? Um, you know the trip over and, and, and your reaction to that.

Segment Synopsis: Tackett recounts his time first arriving in Vietnam and his first impressions of the country and military life.

Keywords: Civilians; Military service; United States Army; United States Military; Vietnam; Vietnam-era drafts

Subjects: Attitude (Psychology); Military life.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:11:22 - Base camps

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Partial Transcript: So when you, when you--they--you went on--ashore and then they flew you--

Segment Synopsis: Brown tells about his time after arriving in Vietnam. Specifically, he talks about adjusting to military life in Vietnam and how it differed from his training.

Keywords: Experience in the Army; Military service experience; Vietnam

Subjects: Military education.; Military life.; United States. Army. Airborne Division, 82nd; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; War casualties.

00:19:44 - Combat experiences

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Partial Transcript: Were you both in heavy combat regularly? On and off? Uh, what, what was the situation?

Segment Synopsis: Brown and Tackett tell stories of their specific combat experiences. Brown talks about North Vietnamese operations from Cambodia. Tackett talks about taking heavy casualties when his company was ambushed.

Keywords: Airborne; Ambush experiences; Deaths; Gunshot wounds; Medical treatment; Military service experience; North Vietnamese; Prisoners of war

Subjects: United States. Army. Airborne Division, 82nd; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Cambodia.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Medical care.; War casualties.; Wounds and injuries.

00:25:09 - Impressions of the enemy

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Partial Transcript: What were your impressions, uh, of the enemy as, as soldiers and, and individuals?

Segment Synopsis: Brown and Tackett tell of their impressions of the enemy soldiers. Brown talks about some of the tactics the Vietnamese soldiers employed that impressed him. Tackett talks about how he feels about military service and communism.

Keywords: American politics; Combat infantry tactics; Vietnam-era drafts

Subjects: Attitude (Psychology); Combat.; Communism; Strategy.; Tactics; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; War casualties.

00:32:53 - Post-war experience

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Partial Transcript: Why don't you go ahead and com--wa, was your experience the same, uh, Joe, or different than--

Segment Synopsis: Brown and Tackett talk about what life was like after returning from the war, and how they felt veterans were treated, especially in the workforce and when applying for jobs.

Keywords: Children; Employment discrimination; Media bias; Veterans Bonus Bill; War veterans

Subjects: Discrimination in employment; Mass media--Political aspects; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Mass media and the war; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Public opinion; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Social aspects.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Veterans.

00:39:06 - Politics of the war

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Partial Transcript: Why do you think the divisions in this country were so apparent in the Vietnam war and not in--you know, as opposed to in the other wars?

Segment Synopsis: Brown and Tackett talk about the greater picture of the war, the politics associated with it, and how they felt about it. Tackett talks about how he feels that Vietnam veterans didn't get the respect they earned by fighting.

Keywords: American politics; Employment; Jobs; Terrorism

Subjects: Communism; Draft resisters.; Politics and war.; Public relations and politics; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Public opinion; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Social aspects.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Veterans--United States

00:45:21 - Vietnam War Memorial

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Partial Transcript: Anything else about coming home, uh, stand out in your mind? Or the homecoming itself?

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks about how he felt upon seeing the Vietnam War Memorial and locating his friends' names on the wall.

Keywords: Veterans Bonus Bill

Subjects: Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Monuments.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Veterans.; War memorials.

00:50:00 - Treatment of veterans

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Partial Transcript: What is it you want Kentuckians to understand about the Vietnam veteran?

Segment Synopsis: Brown and Tackett talk about how they feel they have been treated as veterans by Kentucky and the American Legion.

Keywords: American Legion Department of Kentucky; Disrespect; Employment discrimination; Memorials; Veteran's Day; Veterans Bonus Bill; Veterans Programs

Subjects: Discrimination in employment; Military pay; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Monuments.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Veterans.