Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Dustin Wayne Klinefelter, December 23, 2011

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:04 - Entry into the Army

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Partial Transcript: Today is Christmas Eve, December 24, 2011.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Klinefelter is introduced. He explains his military title and what pushed him to join the service.

Keywords: Birthdate; Birthplace; Branch; Careers; Combat medic; Enlistment; Future; Graduating; High schools; Ranks; Sergeants; Service; Staff Sergeant; Tank Commander; Tanks

Subjects: Basic training (Military education); Enlisted man; Iraq War, 2003-2011.; La Grange (Ky.); United States. Army.; Veterans.

GPS: La Grange (Ky.) where Klinefelter was raised
Map Coordinates: 38.407, 85.378
00:02:06 - Basic training and deployment to Iraq

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Partial Transcript: So, uh, from what I understand it is now, uh, around March, 2003 that you are--

Segment Synopsis: In this section, Klinefelter describes his experience in basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky where he was being trained as a tanker and preparing to aid in the invasion of Iraq. Klinefelter talks about being deployed from Fort Hood, how he traveled to locations in Iraq during the days following the invasion, and his missions as he was convoying North during the invasion.

Keywords: Advanced training; Air base; Airplane; Buses; Camp; Capturing bases; Deployed; Deployment; Division; Enlistment; Fort Hood (Tex.); Fort Knox (Ky.); Gear; Germany; Infantry; Invasions; Iraq; Military base; North; Support; Tanks; Tents; Trip; War

Subjects: Baghdad (Iraq); Basic training (Military education); Infantry; Iraq War, 2003-2011.; Kuwait.; Military Supplies; Travel.; United States. Army.

00:06:45 - Saddam Hussein's capture / Extended deployment

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Partial Transcript: So did you see Saddam Hussein?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Klinefelter tells a story about seeing Saddam Hussein after he was captured. He describes what Hussein's palaces were like in the city of Tikrit. He also explains his deployment being extended and the effects the extension had on his crew's morale.

Keywords: Black water; Capture; Castles; Cities; Compound; Extension; Infantry Division; Lavish; Missions; North; Operating Base; Palaces; Periscope; Rotations; Special forces; Tank driver; Tanks; Towns; Village; Wives

Subjects: Deployment (Strategy); Hussein, Saddam, 1937-2006.; Iraq War, 2003-2011.; Missions.; Morale.; Radio.; Soldiers.; Tikrit (Iraq)

00:12:08 - Life during deployment

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Partial Transcript: During this time were you in a tank all the time or tell me what, what was your life like?

Segment Synopsis: In this section, Klinefelter describes what life was like during his deployment in Iraq. Klinefelter says that he was operating tanks throughout his deployment. He explains some of the obstacles the American soldiers dealt with such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and tells a story of encountering one of these devices and being injured during the explosion. He also talks about the Iraqi citizens and how soldiers interacted with them. Klinefelter then explains some of the different military tactics that were used by both sides such as ambushing and set-ups.

Keywords: Armor; Casualties; Combatant; Communication; Devices; Elders; Information; Iraqi children; Local people; Locals; Location; Occupational specialty; Operating bases; Rapport; Sheikhs; Tanks; Threats; Trucks; Trust; Villages

Subjects: Ambushes and surprises; Artillery.; Civilians in war.; Explosives.; Firearms.; Hummer trucks; Improvised explosive devices; Iraq War, 2003-2011.; Military life.; Soldiers.; Strategy.; Tactics; United States. Army--Military life.; War casualties.; War stories.; Weapons.; Wounds and injuries.

00:22:24 - Health and relaxation during deployment

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Partial Transcript: Uh, Dustin, what type of tank did you drive?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Klinefelter briefly talks about the tanks he drove while deployed. He then explains how he and his crew remained healthy during their deployment. He says that one of the main concerns was staying hydrated in the extreme desert heat. Klinefelter names some ways that soldiers kept hydrated and how food and water was rationed between them. He also talks about what the soldiers did for relaxation or entertainment during the times they weren't working, and ways the soldiers kept in touch with their families.

Keywords: Combat lifesaver tactics; Commanders; Dehydration; Desert; Driver; Eating; Fatigue; Food; Games; Gunner; Heat; Heat casualty; Heat stroke; IV; Loader; Luck charms; Medical supplies; Recreation; Responsibility; Saline; Superstitions; Supplies; Tank commander; Tanks; Water

Subjects: Communication.; Hydration.; Iraq War, 2003-2011.; Leisure.; Military life.; Operational rations (Military supplies); Relaxation.; Strategy.; Tactics; United States. Army--Military life.; Vehicles, Military.; Weather

00:33:20 - Accomplishments and memories from the service

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Partial Transcript: Uh, tell me, uh, do you have, uh, medals? Did you win some medals and can you tell me about them?

Segment Synopsis: This section covers Klinefelter's achievements during his service, including medals and badges he earned. Klinefelter also talks about his plans to continue his military career, and talks about good memories from his service. He then explains that joining the service allowed him to grow up and learn discipline, begin a career, and appreciate what he has more and because of this he would recommend that some high-schoolers join the service.

Keywords: Army achievement medals; Badges; Careers; Citations; Colleges; Combat action badge; Combat spurs; Kentucky colonels; Maturity; Medals; Pistol; Platoons; Rifle; Service ribbon; Tank commander; Uniform; Valorous unit citation; Veterans organizations

Subjects: Discipline; Fellowship; Iraq War, 2003-2011--Veterans; Memories.; Military decorations.; United States. Army.; Veterans.; War stories.

00:42:07 - Life in the desert of Iraq

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Partial Transcript: This is a continuation of the other side of this tape.

Segment Synopsis: In this final section, Klinefelter describes what the cities in Iraq were like. Klinefelter describes the layout of both the rural areas and the more populated cities. He talks about the materials used for architecture, how trash and sewage were dealt with, and ways civilians got food in the desert. Finally, Klinefelter talks about pests such as scorpions, snakes, and spiders that were in the desert.

Keywords: Building materials; Cash crop; Cement; Clay; Dates; Deserts; Food; Game; Goat; Inner-city living; Lamb; Land; Mosque; Mud; Sewer systems; Sheep; Streets; Trash; Trash facilities; Unsanitary; Vegetables; Villages; Wheat; Wild animals

Subjects: Animals.; Architecture.; Civilians in war.; Enlisted man; Gardening; Iraq War, 2003-2011.; Iraq.; Poisonous snakes; Scorpions; Sewage.; Soldiers.; Spider bites; Spiders.; United States. Army.