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Find and Read Stories from the Community in the Story Archive

Nine PBS is collecting stories from the community about the Vietnam War. Stories, memories and photographs submitted to the Story Collection Project appear on this page and are searchable, making it easy for family, friends and community members to share memories and learn about this time in our history from a variety of individual perspectives. Explore, read and learn more about the Vietnam War era below.

1970 | Joe McCarthy

"A couple months before leaving Vietnam I was driving a jeep on Highway 1 heading back to Nha Trang when I was pulled over by MPs. Apparently a helicopter had tracked me..."

Summer 1966 | Thomas Ehlers

"I was in Viet Nam the entire year of 1966. That summer, a few miles south of Da Nang, an ARVAN, (South Viet Nam Soldier), was walking next to one of our tanks when an..."

drops | Lyle Byrd

"The drops of tears flowed gently from her eyesas she watched the plane soar into the skiesher love had been called away from his home..."

Vietnam tour | John Claybaugh

"I was stationed at PhanRang AB, Vietnam from 1970 to 1971. When I was in 'nam I was a weapons mechanic. My responsibility was to load munitions on the f-100 super Sabre..."

Jeep | Bill Herbert

"As a member of the United States Air Force, I was stationed at PhanRang Air Force Base in Vietnam from September, 1967 to September, 1968. My job was refueling aircraft..."

Scariest time | Paul Newby

"I was in the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1970. We were west of Saigon in the Iron Triangle. Before dark, three of us went out from our company's night perimeter to..."

My Story | Clayvon A. Wesley

"My name is Clayvon Ambrose Wesley. I was born in Newark, New Jersey. In September of 1966, I enlisted in the United States Air Force and received basic training at Lackland..."

Honor | Donald Ohmes

"Don Ohmes is a local boy from St. Peters. His family owned several hundred acres which they farmed before St. Peters started to build up. There is a sizeable road in..."

Warbirds | Thomas Griggs

"My most memorable times during two tours in the Vietnam War invariably involve helicopters. I grew up just 23 miles from downtown St. Louis and just a stone's throw from..."

Chopper Count | Matthew Kotraba

"I was a twelve year old grade school kid who was aware of the current events and one of my interests was the activity over in Vietnam. I would watch the news and pay attention..."

Tim's Bench | Emmett Bentley

"It was an extraordinary spring day in St. Louis, Monday May 22, 2017. The sun was shining, 75 degrees and the sky was deep blue without a hint of a cloud. I had a thought that..."

1968 | Michael Draga

"I close my eyes and taste the acrid air. 
Smell the wasted foul soil. 
Feel the bitter loneness
I try not to look at the lifeless bodies 
Green camo..."

Cold War/Hot War | R.D. Puller

"My war was as different and alike as any other soldier who served during the Cold War, and in the Hot War, Vietnam. It matters quite a bit whether a soldier was a rifleman..."

Changes | Daniel Feinstein

"My story is common among many veterans that have served in a war zone. He or she will tell you that they arrived in the war zone as one person but left that war zone..."

In Vietnam | Richard Elgin

"On May 5, 1969, I arrived in Vietnam (Cam Ranh Bay) with other members of my flight class. World Airways, the government contractor hired to fly GI’s to and from Vietnam..."

dismay | Charles Hoehn

"I remember loading body bags onto my air plane and learning latter that our involvement in this conflict was based on a lie and these young men..."

Untitled | Kitty Buttermore

"My brother-in-law was in Vietnam. It was 1972 and he was 27. My husband, 5 years older, along with just about everyone our age in our slice of America, had avoided fighting..."

Frequent Wind 1975 | Tim Bee

"I occasionally pick up an apple and it makes me remember a day more than 40 years ago when I saw – for the first and only time -- Graham Martin, the last U.S. ambassador..."

Flight School | Richard Elgin

"From Basic Training, we who were going to Rotary Wing Flight School were bused to Ft. Wolters, Texas, which was the Army’s primary helicopter training base. After several..."

Protest | Stephen Roth

"In May of 1970 the day after the Ohio State Guard killed unarmed students at Kent StateUniversity for peacefully protesting the Vietnam War students at University City..."

Brothers | Rocky Oliver

"My older brother entered the military as volunteer. Special Forces would not accept draftees into its ranks. Owen became a medic and was sent to Vietnam with the 5th Special..."

Lonely | Mary Guise

"I was the youngest of four children, born in 1947 and graduated from high school in 1966. By 1967 both of my brothers and one step brother were in the military. Jim was in the..."

12/17/69 | Joe McCarthy

"I landed in Vietnam on December 7th, 1969; Pearl Harbor Day - how ironic! After in-processing and spending a week in the 1st Infantry Division jungle school (teaching us how..."

Into Cambodia | Tom Fogarty

"As I got my gear together, my mind flashed back to the 9th INF. jungle training camp for the Delta Dogs in Tanin, Mekong Delta. I was assigned to Rachen home base camp..."

Nothing Planned | Michael Spray

"There are lots of things about my time in Vietnam that I would rather forget. I’ve been able to push them way back in the deep recesses of my mind so that I don’t often think..."

Remorse | Brad Hall

I was a senior in college In January 1973. I had draft number 61 and selective service was drafting up to number 180 that year. In Late January President Nixon..."

Lurch | Melvin Spall

"My father, Les Spall, was a sergeant major in the Army’s 40 Division during World War II. His best friend was another sergeant, Mel Kenniger, from St. Louis..."

Decisions | Gus Buttice

"St. Mary's high school class of 1971, what next? I had to make that big decision, continue on with my education, go to work or join the military. Vietnam was in full swing..."

May 1969 | James Sargent

"On May 13 1969 I was a RTO with Alpha Company 1/46th Infantry. That day was the start of the battle that lasted 35 hours. As a company of 91 men we were moved into a position..."

Conflicted | Ivan Martin

"We stood there toe to father was calling me a coward because I tried to explain to him that I did not want to go to Vietnam because I did not want to kill anyone and..."

The Moving Wall | Teddy Norris

"In the late 1990's, the Moving Wall, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, came to the campus of St. Charles Community College where I was an adjunct English professor..."

Vietnam Parade | Brian Gordon

"It has become one of the myths of the Vietnam War that, in contrast to the experience of veterans in earlier wars, returning Vietnam veterans did not get parades celebrating..."

An Hoa 1968 | Gene Giunta

"It was shortly after chow that evening, I don’t remember the exact date…it’s happened way too long ago. I sat on the top of a bunker smoking a cigarette and looking out over..."