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Briana McGuckin
Elihu Burritt Library
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06051
Phone: 860.832.2062



Speakers Bureau


Veterans History Project

Speakers Bureau

The Central Connecticut State University Veterans History Project maintains a Speakers Bureau of both veterans and civilians whose experiences reflect the American participation in conflicts from WWII to the present. These men and women have agreed to donate their time and memories to the public. At your request, we will arrange for a speaker to share his or her story with your classroom or organization.

 

To request a speaker, contact Eileen Hurst at 860-832-2976 or e-mail hursteim@ccsu.edu.

 

Links will access photos, service information and brief biographies.

Alulis, Gregory A. (Vietnam/Vietnam Era) Anthony, Peter T. (Korean War)
Augustine, Gerald E. (Vietnam) Balducci, Donald (Vietnam)
Baldwin Jr., Raymond G. (Vietnam) Bonaccorso, Russell J., Jr. (OEF)
Breck, William D. (Vietnam, Vietnam Era) Brown, Kevin P. (Desert Shield, Desert Storm, OIF)
Burke, Thomas (OIF & OEF) Catania, Ronald (Vietnam)
Christie, Jeanne B. (Vietnam War)

Carlson, Robert "Ryan" (Iraqi Freedom)

Cree, Earl C. (Vietnam War) Carlson, Kent A. (Vietnam)
Cornish Owen F. (Global War on Terrorism) Currlin, William (Vietnam/Vietnam Era)
Crawford, Robert Daniel (Vietnam)  
Davidson, Harry H(Korea & Cold War) Eaton, Eric A. (Persian Gulf War)
Diani, Joseph C. (Korean War) Dzenutis, Vytis F.. (Iraqi Freedom)
Enderle, James R. (OIF) Erwin, Robert S. (Vietnam)
Emond, Sean A. (Afghanistan & Iraq) Evon, Francis J. (Afghanistan)
Fenton, Donald (Vietnam) Gamache, Timothy J. (Vietnam War)
Gertsch Sr., Daniel F (Vietnam War) Gavigan, Gary, F. (Vietnam War)
Graziani, Theodore (Ted) (Vietnam War) Godenzi, Joseph A. (Vietnam War)
Guillorn Jr., Albert W. (Vietnam War) Guenon, William A., Jr. (Vietnam War)
Hart, William F. (Korea) Gutierrez, Chris G. (OIF)
Harrison, John R. (Vietnam & Cold War) Havens, Robert C. (Vietnam War)
Henningson, John Charles (Vietnam War) Horn, Frederick G. (Vietnam Era, Desert Storm Era)
Hurlbutt, Donald (Vietnam) Hunter, Robert A. (Cold War)
Katz, Morton N. (WWII) Kelleher, Alyssa M. (OEF)
Leger, Joel Patrick (Iraq War) Lucas, Charley H. (Vietnam War)
Marshall, Vanessa A. (Vietnam War) May, Melissa. (Global War on Terrorism)
McBriarty, Thomas (Vietnam War) Mead, Joshua A. (Afghanistan)
Metro, James J. (Vietnam War) Miller, Kipp O. (Vietnam War)
Momparler, Michael (Vietnam War) Morawski, Frederick P. (WWII)
Morgan II, Buckley W. (Persian Gulf War and Cold War) Moser, William J. (Vietnam/Vietnam Era)
Nevers, Peter J. (Vietnam War) Newman, William J. (Vietnam/ Vietnam Era)
Niedermayer, Joseph (Vietnam War)
Patten, James S. (Vietnam War)

Rachuba, Robert M. (OIF II)

Rivera, Carlos (Vietnam)

Roberts, Arthur E. (Vietnam War)
Rodin, Jack(WWII) Roberts, James E. (WWII)
Sandler, Heather (OEF/OIF) Savage, Dennis M. (Vietnam Era)
Shannon, Thomas H. (Vietnam) Shetland, Andrew F. (OEF)
Skeels, Robert F. (Vietnam War) Sladyk, Arthur P. (Vietnam/Vietnam Era)
Smith, Elbert (Al) (Vietnam/ Vietnam Era) Sponder, Barry (Vietnam/Vietnam Era)
Stack, Austin (Korea) Stefanko, Thomas (Iraq)
Suares, Kevin (Afghanistan & Iraq) Tazzara, David E. (Vietnam War)
Thomson, Chilton (Tony) (Vietnam War) Tollefsen, Kjell T. (Vietnam)
Tramontano, Joseph D. (Vietnam War) Urso, Lou (Vietnam)
Vernesoni, Aldo. (Korea) Walden, Daniel J. (Vietnam War)
Wekerle, John J. (Vietnam War) Wiknik, Jr., Arthur(Vietnam War)
Wing, Ronald P. (Vietnam War) Winn, Gerald P. (Vietnam War)

 


Alulis, Gregory A.

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1966-1970

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army Security Agency

Rank: SPC5/E-5

Subject: Vietnam and Germany

Mr. Alulis left the University of Connecticut to enlist in the U.S. Army. He served two years in Germany before serving in Vietnam. He and his friend volunteered to go to Vietnam. Mr. Alulis has recollections of numerous rocket attacks while he was assigned to Vietnam. After his enlistment was complete he returned to Waterbury Connecticut.

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Anthony, Peter T.

Anthony

War or Conflict: Korea

Coverage: 1952-1954

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army / HQ Company, 3rd Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment

Rank: CPL/E-4

Subject: Japan, Inchon, and Korea

Mr. Anthony lived in Wethersfield Connecticut in 1952 when he was drafted into the Army as an Infantry man. He was transported via troop ship from San Francisco to Korea via Japan. He was assigned to duty at the 38th Parallel where he experienced trench warfare. Mr. Anthony has memories of battles along the 38th Parallel and in the area known as "No Man’s Land". Mr. Anthony also recalls battles at Pork Chop hill and Old Baldy.

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Augustine, Gerald E.

Augustine

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1965-1967

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: SPC4/E-4

Subject: Vietnam

Mr. Augustine was drafted while he was attending the University of Connecticut. Gerald was an Infantry man who deployed to Vietnam and was assigned to a unit within the Iron Triangle. His unit was responsible for the security of Saigon. Gerald was also a participant in Operation Junction city which he states was his worst night in Vietnam. He learned the language and became an interpreter for his unit. Gerald was also involved in the Battle of Suoi Tre and LZ Gold. He has a rich story filled with events during his brief military career and continuing into his civilian life as well.

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Balducci, Donald.

Balducci

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1969-1970

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: SPC-4/E-4

Subject: Service in Vietnam

Mr. Balducci was drafted into the Army on June 13, 1969. He served as an 11B (Infantry man). He was deployed to Vietnam in November 1969 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division throughout his entire tour in Vietnam. He took part in numerous search missions (looking for enemy troops). Mr. Balducci received two Bronze Stars while in Vietnam and participated in "Operation Fish Hook'. He has many experiences from Vietnam and experiences of returning home to the U.S. after his tour in Vietnam was complete. He was discharged shortly after his return to the U.S.

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Baldwin Jr., Raymond G.

Balducci

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1966-1970

Branch/Unit: U.S. Marine Coprs

Rank: SGT/E-5

Subject: Service in Vietnam

Mr. Baldwin enlisted in the Marines December 18th 1966 and left for basic training in April 1967. He was trained in advanced infantry tactics and in communications. After attending two weeks of jungle survival training he was assigned to Vietnam. Most of his service in Vietnam was with Field Artillery and stayed within twenty miles of Da Nang. While in Vietnam Mr. Baldwin took part in sixteen different combat operations. Raymond lost several friends in Vietnam. Upon his return to the states he was assigned to Camp Lejeune. While at Camp Lejeune he went on a six month Mediterranean cruise aboard the USS Wahkiakum. He visited numerous countries to include, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Malta. After his discharge from the service Mr. Baldwin went on to serve in the Trumbull Police Department for fourteen years until he got his law degree. He later served for 8 years as First Selectman for Trumbull.

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Bonaccorso, Russell J., Jr.

War or Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom, 2001-present

Coverage: 1990-2013

Branch/Unit: 98th Division

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Subject: establishing national military academy in Afghanistan, training Afghan army

Russell Bonaccorso had two tours in Afghanistan, one from 2006 to 2007 and the other from 2011 to 2012. He went through ROTC training at Norwich University, in Vermont, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in May of 1990. He was in the reserves until 2006, though after the September 11th attacks in 2001 there was increased preparational activity. Given the choice of going to Iraq or Afghanistan, he chose Afghanistan. His mission was to assist in establishing the national military academy there. He worked with the Afghan people, helped to create currciulums, and set admission processes. When he returned to Afghanistan in 2011, it was to train the Afghan army. He can retire from the military any time, but does not yet feel ready to do so.

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Breck, William D.


War or Conflict: Vietnam/ Vietnam Era

Coverage: January 1968 to October 1969

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Subject: Serving in Vietnam

Recipient of numerous awards including the Purple Heart, Air Medal, Bronze star and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry for actions in Vietnam. Mr. Breck served in the 1st Air Cavalry, in a Recon Platoon. He spent 11 months in the “field” in Vietnam conducting numerous recons and ambushes. His tour consisted of untold number of firefights with the enemy but no long term battles. He recalls the challenges of returning to American society after 11 months of battle hardened life. Spent his life since Vietnam working in education and is now a Superintendent.

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Brown, Kevin P.

brown

War or Conflict: Desert Shield, Desert Storm, OIF

Coverage: 1987-2011

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: COL/O-6

Subject: Career as an Officer

Mr. Brown served in the Army from 1987 to 2011. His service began with attending West Point and becoming an Infantry Officer. He also was a Ranger and attended Air Assault school. His first duty assignment was with the 101st Airborne Division. Mr. Brown’s unit was deployed to the Persian Gulf in preparation for the Gulf War. Mr. Brown has magnificent details of how Desert Storm began from his position in the war. Mr. Brown eventually returned home from the war to see his daughter for the first time

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Burke, Thomas


War or Conflict:OIF & OEF

Coverage: 2007-2010

Branch/Unit:U.S. Marines

Rank: Corporal/E-4

Subject: Iraq; Afghanistan & PTSD

Mr. Burke joined the Marines in 2007. After a tour in Hawaii he was deployed to Karma Iraq and served as a Squad Assault Weapon gunner. After eight months Tom was returned to the United States. His time in states was brief as he was sent on orders to go to Afghanistan. In Afghanistan he served as a Marksman. Tom dealt with many personal challenges upon his return to the United States. He understands the many stresses that the combat veteran must deal with and has developed tools to help him move forward in his life.

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Carlson, Kent A.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1965-1967

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army, 282nd Avn. Battalion

Rank: Sergeant Major

Mr. Carlson volunteered to be drafted into the Army in 1965. He volunteered for duty in Vietnam after completing his Infantry training. In Vietnam Kent flew more then 300 hours and received seven Air Medals. Kent returned to Hartford Connecticut in October 1967. Upon his return to USA he went to school. In 1978 he reenlisted into the Army and then served as a full time National Guardsman after 1986. He retired from the Connecticut National Guard in 2007.

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Carlson, Robert "Ryan"

War or Conflict: Iraqi Freedom

Coverage: 2008 - Present

Branch/Unit: Army Reserves

Rank: CPT/O-3

Subject: Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn

Captain Carlson is currently stationed in the Army Reserves in Windsor Connecticut. He served in Northern Iraq while assigned to a transportation company. His primary functions were the delivery or transportation of supplies throughout Iraq. Captain Carlson did not join the military until he was thirty years old. Captain Carlson has numerous experiences to share with others about his life in Iraq and in the service in general

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Catania, Ronald

Ronald Catania

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1965-1969

Branch/Unit: U.S. Airforce

Rank: SSGT/E-5

Subject: Vietnam, Tet

Mr. Catania joined the Air force looking for adventure. He copied code and his first assignment was in England. After a short time he volunteered for Vietnam. While he does not consider himself a combat veteran he did experience Vietnam and survived several mortar fire attacks on his base. He also served part time as a cook while in Vietnam. He has firsthand knowledge of the Tet Offensive, Communications Intelligence and DMZ Dog Fights with Russian aircraft.

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Christie, Jeanne B.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War 1961-1975

Coverage: 1967-1968

Branch/Unit: American Red Cross

Status: Civilian

Subjects: Vietnam, Women, Supplemental Recreation Activities Overseas (SRAO)

Jeanne B. Christie joined the Red Cross in order to assist American troops in Vietnam. Reflecting on her duties in-country, she described herself as naive and unaware of the full extent of the war. As a member of the American Red Cross, she served with the Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas (SRAO). Although based on a simple premise, in practice, their job became increasingly difficult. Assisting the emotions of their troops, the SRAO was intended as a means of distraction from the nearby death and dying, even if only for a short while. She recalls playing childish games and even bubble blowing contests, for the most important aspect of their work was the alleviation of wartime tensions. For over a year, she served as a “doughnut dolly,” when she returned to the United States she went to graduate school for Art Education before returning to service as part of the USO in Guam. During her later career, she continued to study, write, and teach about women in war, including a consultant position on the television program “China Beach.“

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Cornish, Owen F.

cornish

War or Conflict: Global War on Terrorism

Coverage: 2011-2016

Branch/Unit: U.S. Marine

Rank: SGT/E-5

Subjects: Life in The Marines

Mr. Cornish joined the Marines in January 2011. He served at Parris Island South Carolina; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Twenty Nine Palms, California; Virginia Beach, VA. He attended Marine Corps communications and Electronics school. Mr. Cornish served in the Marines until May 2016.

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Cree, Earl C.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1968-1969

Branch/Unit: 7th Battalion, 15th Artillery

Rank: E-4

Subject: conscientious objector (CO), medic, LZ Uplift aid station

Earl Cree was drafted in his hometown of Chicago, IL. As a conscientious objector, he did not get to choose his branch of service; the only path for him to take was becoming a medic. He did his medical training at Fort Sam Houston. He served as a psychiatric technician while living in barracks. In Vietnam, he served as a field medic on a heavy artillery base, LZ Uplift. Here, he screened for and treated infectious diseases, and treated local villagers and their children for wounds and illnesses. He interacted a lot with locals, some who appreciated the military's presence and some who did not. He did patrols to villages to treat people there, but these stopped because of the locals' dislike and also because it put the medics in free-fire zones. Now and again, Cree served as a medic at another service battalion, Bravo Battalion. During his time in Vietnam, he saw a USO show with Bob Hope.

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Currlin, William F.


War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1969-1971

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army/101st Airborne Div.

Rank: Major/O-4

Subject: Service during Vietnam

Mr. Currlin was drafted into the Army after he completed college. Did basic training at Fort Jackson, SC and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Lee, VA.  He was later assigned as a platoon leader to a platoon that had just lost their Platoon leader in battle in Vietnam. Mr. Currlin Conducted numerous tactical missions while serving in Vietnam. Continued on in the reserves upon his return to Connecticut.

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Robert Daniel Crawford

War or Conflict: Vietnam War

Coverage: 1964-1970

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: SGT/E-5 (Acting E-6)

Subject: Vietnam and Airborne status

Robert joined the Army in 1964 and stayed in the service for six years. Robert was an Airborne Army Ranger stationed for one year in Vietnam in the 101st Airborne Division, "Screaming Eagles". While in Vietnam he took part in the liberation of a Vietnamese Concentration camp. Robert earned the Combat Infantry Badge. Robert was also assigned to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center. Robert has a numerous experiences to share based on his six years of duty as an Army Ranger.

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Davidson, Harry H.


War or Conflict: Korea and Cold War

Coverage: 1952-1979

Branch/Unit: U.S. Navy

Rank: Captain/O-6

Subject: Korea and the European Occupation/p>

Mr. Davidson was a career sailor serving during a time that includes the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War. He started in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corp in 1948 and then went on to active duty after graduating from Yale. Stayed on active duty until 1954. He joined the reserves and finished out his career in the Navy reserves here in Connecticut.

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Diani, Joseph C.

Joseph C. Diani

War or Conflict: Korean War, 1950-1953

Coverage: 1950-1954

Branch/Ship: U.S. Naval Reserves, U.S.S.; Amphion (AR-13), U.S.S.; Fairview (EPCER 850)

Rank: Machinist's Mate, 2nd Class

Subject: Naval Repair Ship, Optical Repair Lab

Three weeks into basic training, Joseph Diani went to the hospital with the measles. After that, he was assigned to teach illiterate recruits to read and write. He was sent to Machinist Repair School in Illinois. When he was transferred to Norfolk, Virginia, he was based on a repair ship and worked in an Optical Repair lab. There, he fixed range finders, binoculars, gun scopes, and ship gyroscopes. Sailing from Norfolk to Key West, Florida on a patrol craft, his objective was to intercept enemy invaders of U.S. waters. The ship twice encountered Russian destroyers, using sonar for tracking and communication. The enemy was not the only danger; Diani witnessed a casualty in which a cable-pulley operator was decapitated as a line with heavy tension snapped. Diani enlisted in the Naval Reserve in December of 1950, by which point he was living in Massachusetts. After his service, Diani went to the University of Hartford for engineering. This was covered by the G.I. Bill. He volunteered as a firefighter in Newington, CT and was eventually made State Fire Marshall for the district.

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Dzenutis, Vytis F.

Dzenutis, Vytis F.

War or Conflict: Operation Iraqi Freedom

Coverage: 2001-2006

Branch/Unit: U.S. Airforce

Rank: Airman/E-1

Subject: OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom)

Mr. Dzenutis enlisted in the Air Force as a Tactical Aircraft Mechanic. During his five years of service Mr. Dzenutis served in Operation Iraqi Freedom where he was awarded The Airman’s Medal for heroic actions.

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Eaton, Eric A.

War or Conflict: Persian Gulf War, 1991

Coverage: June 1987-June 1993

Branch/Unit: Marine Corps, 3rd Battalion; 1st Battalion

Rank: Sergeant (E-5)

Subject: Persian Gulf War, 1991, Personal Narrative

Eric A. Eaton enlisted in the Marine Corps the day after his 16th birthday in 1985. Because of his young age, The Marine Corps assigned him to the the delayed entry program, which restricted him from boot camp until his high school graduation. During June, 1987, he traveled to Parris Island, South Carolina, for three months of preliminary training. Upon completion, he attended his advanced infantry training, where he specialized in anti-tank missiles. In August of 1990, his unit began desert training so they could be shipped to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield. By January of 1991, the air war began, and by March, a cease fire was declared. Although the war had ended, Eaton describes feeling disappointed that their unit was not deployed to Iraq, leaving the troops feeling that the “job was unfinished.” Arriving at Camp Pendleton in May of 1991, the Marines were treated to a celebration of their success in the Middle East. Although Eaton intended to remain in the Marine Corps, the military began to reduce its Cold War reserves of manpower and equipment. Consequently, Eaton utilized the G.I. Bill to attend both Manchester Community College and Central Connecticut State University. Earning his educational certification in 1997, Eaton transitioned from the Marine Corps to his new profession as a full time history teacher.

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Emond, Sean A.

Emond

War or Conflict: Afghanistan & Iraq

Coverage: 2004-2009

Branch/Unit: U.S Army

Rank: SGT/E-5

Subject: Service in Iraq

Mr. Emond Joined the Army after the attack on 9/11 in New York City. Sean was an Infantry man and served two separate tours in Iraq. Both of his tours saw considerable combat and had a dramatic effect on his outlook. Sean went through the ranks and finally got out of the service as a Sergeant. Sean has a lot of stories about his experiences and about his life after he returned from service in the Army.

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Enderle, James R.

James R Enderle

War or Conflict: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2012

Coverage: 1992-present (currently serving)

Branch/Ship/Unit: USS Wasp (LHD-1), NPDB-3

Rank: Hospital Corpsman - Chief Petty Officer (E-7)

Subject: Transitioning Home, Cultural and History Lessons Learned of Iraq, Navy and Military Families

Serving in both Kosovo, Serbia, and Iraq, James Enderle served the U.S. Navy as a corpsman, specializing in radiation safety and advanced X-ray scanning. Following his medical training, Enderle deployed to the USS Wasp for three years, where he served as a member of a 16 person medical staff. The Wasp resembled a floating hospital in the sense that it contained a comprehensive sick bay and operating rooms. In 2007, he deployed to Iraq as part of a "troop surge." Stationed in Camp Bucca, Iraq, Enderle served in the troop medical center, where his primary focus was the treatment of Army personnel or military contractors. In addition to his duties at the camp, he participated in convoy missions as a replacement for exhausted convoy escorts. In order to do so, however, he had to convince both their Army First Sergeant and his own Commanding Officer, who both realized the value of his voluntarism. In addition to his convoy missions, he performed humanitarian aid missions, treating outbreaks of infectious diseases. Currently serving in the Navy, Enderle works at a Tramautic Brain Injury clinic at the Navy submarine base in New London, CT.

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Erwin, Robert S.

Robert Erwin

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1967-1970

Branch/Unit: U.S. Marines

Rank: SGT/E-5

Subject: Vietnam

Mr. Erwin enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1967. He served as a Combat Engineer after attending basic at Parris Island and Infantry training at Camp Lejeune. He went on to Jungle Survival School in Japan. He was assigned to Khe Sanh, Vietnam in December 1967. Mr. Erwin was active in more than a half dozen separate military operations, including Houston, Ford, Scotland and Pegasus to name a few. He recalls taking in more than a thousand artillery rounds a day at Khe Sanh. He has numerous combat experiences during his time in Vietnam. Mr. Erwin was wounded when a white phosphorous mortar round struck him and burned most of his body. He returned home to an unwelcoming people in America. He spent a majority of his life dealing with his experiences, emotional and physical. He has no ill feelings about his service and is happy to share his story with others.

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Evon, Francis J.

War or Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom

Coverage: 1985-to current time

Branch/Unit: Connecticut Army National Guard

Rank: COL/O-6

Subject: Service in the National Guard and Afghanistan

Colonel Evon originaly joined the Connecticut National Guard as an enlisted man directly after his graduation from High School in effort to receive help with college tuition. He became an officer after completing the Officer Basic Course in 1989. He held numerous jobs of increasing responsibilities until his deployment to Afghanistan in 2009. He deployed to Afghanistan as the Battalion commander. His battalion served varying duties while assigned to Afghanistan and suffered casualties as a result of enemy action. He returned to Connecticut with his Battalion and continues serving in the Connecticut National Guard.

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Fenton, Donald

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1957-1967

Branch/Unit: US Army

Rank: MAJ/O-4

Mr. Fenton was commissioned in 1957 as an officer in the U.S. Army. Initially he wanted to be an aviator but after making two bad decisions during a flight check he was not allowed to move forward as a pilot. He attended Infantry Officer School and graduated Ranger school. Mr. Fenton was sent to Vietnam and integrated into Vietnamese military units as an advisor to their commanders. He has numerous stories and experiences from this period of his service. He also has experience as a military historian and as a ROTC instructor at Texas A&M. After ten years of service he went to work for a bottling company, eventually working his way up to Vice President of Human Resources. He spent his last twenty years of work in his own business as a career consultant.

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Gamache, Timothy J.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1967-1970

Branch/Unit: U.S. Navy, CBMU-302

Rank: UT-3 (E-4)

Subject: "Seabee" training," Cam Ranh Bay, My Tho, Dong Tam

Mr. Gamache enlisted in the U.S. Navy in February 1967. Attended and passed Seabee training. Timothy deployed to Vietnam in late 1967 or early 1968. He was stationed at Cam Ranh Bay and experienced combat on its perimeter and frequent nighttime attacks on the base. Left Vietnam and was released from the service in 1969. Timothy joined the Army Reserves in 1980. He is currently a member of several veteran organizations.

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Godenzi, Joseph A.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1968-1969

Branch/Unit: Army, 4th Infantry Division

Rank: Specialist Fourth Class (SP4)

Subject: Pleiku Province, LRRP, Recon

As recent high school graduates, Joseph Godenzi and two of his high school friends enlisted in the United States Army at the height of the Vietnam War. Although they were able to attend basic training together, they were assigned to various infantry units as soon as they entered the Republic of Vietnam. Godenzi received orders to report to the 4th Infantry Division, stationed at Pleiku Province in the Central Highlands. There, he was assigned to the recon element of the unit, which conducted LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols) into the units area of operations. The purpose of these patrols was to designate targets for airstrikes, as well as to ascertain the strength and location of nearby enemy forces, which were routinely supplied by staging areas across the nearby Cambodian border. Wounded in action, he returned to the United States, where he eventually retired from the United States Postal service. He still keeps in touch with his two comrades.

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Gertsch Sr., Daniel F

Gertsch Sr., Daniel F\

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1950-1952

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army and Navy

Rank: SFC-5/E-7

Subject: Korea, Vietnam, and Germany

Mr. Gertsch originally joined the Merchant Marines but was hurt and joined the Navy afterwards. After a short time in the Navy he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Mr. Gertsch was at the Atomic Bomb test in Nevada. He served a tour in Korea with an Engineer unit blowing up bridges and building pontoon bridges and airstrips. He would later serve tours in Vietnam. He also served in Germany for a couple years and saw the building of the Berlin Wall.

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Graziani, Theodore (Ted)

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1966-1968

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: SPC-5/E-5

Subject: Service in Vietnam

Mr. Graziani volunteered for the draft in 1966 at the age of eighteen. He was drafted as a cook but wanted to be infantry like his father was in WWII. At his first duty station (Indian Town Gap) he managed to get out of cooking and was delivering supplies instead. Ted was shipped to Vietnam in 1967 and served at Phu Loi, An Khe, and Da Nang. On January 31, 1968 during the Tet Offensive Ted was at Da Nang. Graziani states that his last day in Vietnam was his longest day.

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Guenon, William A., Jr.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1962-1964

Branch/Unit: U.S. Air Force, 779th TCS, 7SOS, 2064 Comm. Sq.and 2069th Comm. Sq.

Rank: Major

Subject: Son Tay P.O.W. raid

Mr. Guenon attended officer training school in the Air Force followed by pilot training in Selma Alabama. He went on to C-130 training followed by permanent duty at Pope Air force base. Mr. Guenon was eventually assigned to Vietnam in 1965. While in Vietnam he was sent to numerous locations such as Japan, Australia, and the Philippines. As a C-130 pilot in Vietnam is primary job was to fly troops from one location to another. Guenon flew in combat as well as non-combat roles. He was a part of the crew that conducted the “Night of the Son Ta POW Raid” on November 21st, 1970. Mr. Guenon eventually retired from the Air Force after many years of experiences as a pilot in and out of Vietnam.

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Guillorn Jr., Albert W.

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1969-1971

Branch/Unit:U.S. Army

Rank: Specialist-5/E-5

Subject: Vietnam and Military Experience

Mr. Guillorn served in the army as a medic. He joined the service as a married man and understands the challenges that come with an enlistment of a married man. His primary mission in Vietnam was to conduct “Dustoff” missions. This was simply the process of moving forward and providing immediate aid and transport for the wounded. He was later trained to be a Social Work Tech which is where his true interest was. Upon his departure from Vietnam he was assigned to Fort Meade Maryland where he continued working as a Social Work Tech. He designed a drug rehab program during his stay at Fort Meade.

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Gutierrez, Chris G.

Chris G. Gutierrez

War or Conflict: Iraq War, 2003 - 2012

Coverage: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2006-2007

Branch/Unit: CT Army National Guard, 143rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion

Rank: Captain (O-3)

Subject: Counter - Insurgency in Iraq

Chris Gutierrez enlisted in the Connectcut Army National Guard during his CCSU enrollment. His aspirations for leadership guided him towards an officer commission among the 143rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion stationed in Waterbury, CT. His unit deployed to Iraq in 2006 in order to provide logisitical support for embattled US soldiers. Although unrequired, he supplemented his organizational duties by leading patrols "outside the wire" of his forward operating base. He was stationed in an area that was heavily trafficked by political leaders, hosting both Saddam Hussein as well as former Vice President Dick Cheney. His ongoing commitment to the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, as well as assisting veterans among CCSU's student population, demonstrate the military's support for their lifelong veterans.

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Harrison, John R.

Chris G. Gutierrez

War or Conflict: Vietnam & Cold War

Coverage: 1965-1978

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army & U.S. Air force

Rank: CPT/O-3

Subject: Vietnam and Cold War

Mr. Harrison joined the Army reserves while he was attending college in Ohio. In 1968 Mr. Harrison transferred from the Army Reserves to the Air force reserves in hopes of becoming a pilot. He did graduate pilot school and continued his service in the Air force reserves. He served flying missions over Vietnam from Guam and Thailand. Mr. Harrison served two tours flying over Vietnam and has knowledge about Lam Son 719 and Linebackers I and II. He flew a bomber on both his tours near Vietnam. He stayed in the service until 1978.

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Hart, William F.

William F. Hart

War or Conflict: Korea

Coverage: 1950-1952

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: CPL/E-4

Subject: Korea

Mr. Hart is a recipient of the Purple Heart, received for injuries he obtained in Korea. Mr. Hart was assigned to Charlie Company 38th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division. He has direct knowledge and experience in the Battle of Wonju, the May Massacre and the Punch Bowl.

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Havens, Robert C.

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1967-1968

Branch/Unit: U.S. Navy

Rank: Petty Officer 2nd Class/E-5

Subject: Secret War

In 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War, Bob and approximately 300 military personnel became part of a top secret squadron known as Observation Squadron Sixty Seven, or VO-67.

Operating from the Nakhon Phanom Air Commando base in Thailand, their mission was a significant one: halting Vietcong activity along the infamous Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos. For 500 days Bob and his comrades secretly tracked the movements and conversations of the Vietcong. At the close of their brief mission, and the loss of three aircraft and twenty sailors, the remaining VO-67 squadron members were sworn to secrecy.

After 30 years the mission was declassified, and the new mission was to try and locate as many members of the squadron as possible, both alive and dead. In 2007 VO-67 was invited to the Navy Memorial in Washington, DC to receive the Presidential Unit Citation. Because of the high degree of secrecy surrounding their mission, VO-67 could not receive this honor in 1968, as technically speaking, the squadron did not exist, and would not be talked about for 30 years.

 

 

Henningson, John Charles

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1968-1971

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: 1LT/O-2

Subject: Service in Vietnam providing artillery support and PTSD

Mr. Henningson was drafted into the U.S Army as an officer in 1968. He trained to be an Artillery Officer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. After a short duty as artillery officer at Fort Riley, he was reassigned as the Intelligence Officer and the Special Weapons officer. Mr. Henningson received orders for Vietnam and was assigned to the 82nd Field Artillery at Chu Lai Vietnam. Mr. Henningson had numerous experiences in Vietnam that served to shape his life after his discharge from the Army.

 

 

Horn, Frederick G.

War or Conflict: Vietnam and Desert Storm Era

Coverage: 1964-1994

Branch/Unit: Connecticut Army National Guard

Rank: SFC/E-7

Subject: National Guard Service

Mr. Horn joined the Army National Guard in 1964. He served in the National Guard for almost thirty years before his retirement in 1994. Initially a truck driver, he went on to become a Administrative Supply Technician in full time status. Later he became the unit administrative specialist. Then he changed his MOS to cook and attended cooking and bakers school in Fort Lee Virginia. He continued in this job with different levels of responsibilities until his retirement in 1994. Mr. Horn is currently active with the West Haven Veteran’s Museum and learning center.


Hurlbutt, Donald

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1969-1971

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: Specialist/E-4

Subject: Vietnam

Mr. Hurlbutt volunteered for military duty in 1969. He served a combat tour in Vietnam and has numerous experiences of that time to share. Mr. Hurlbutt found it very challenging to leave the war behind him when he got home. He had several incidents that occurred in the first few months he was home. He did go on to marry and raise children and now has grandchildren.


 

Hunter, Robert (Bob) A.

War or Conflict: Lebanon Peace Keeping Force

Coverage: 1980-1984

Branch/Unit: U.S. Navy

Rank: Electronics Technician 2nd Class

Subject: Multinational Peacekeeping force in Lebanon, response to bombing of barracks in Beirut October 23, 1983.

Mr. Hunter enlisted in the Navy in 1980. Served aboard the USS Eisenhower in preparation to move should Muammar Gaddafi choose to take action or react to U.S. actions. After his service he went on to college and currently lives in Torrington CT.

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Katz, Morton N.

War or Conflict: WWII, 1939-1945

Coverage: 1940-1946

Branch/Unit: Army, Airborne Parachute, Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry

Rank: Colonel (O-6)

Subject: Parachute Infantry, Battle of the Ardennes, 1944-1945, Concentration Camp

In 1940, Morton N. Katz received a commission in the U.S. Army Reserve. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he volunteered for parachute training and was sent to England with the 503rd parachute infantry. Katz’s unit prepared for the invasion of North Africa, however, they eventually arrived in Iran by train. His battalion deployed to Italy and by October of 1943, they were engaged in combat near Naples. Attached to the 82nd airborne division, they participated in both the Anzio invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. While serving with the 82nd, he assisted in the liberation of Wobbelin concentration camp outside of Ludwigslust,Germany. Following the German capitulation, Katz was sent home, but remained in the postwar reserve. He utilized the G.I. Bill to attend law school, yet still participated in the reserves between semesters. After graduating from law school, he accepted a position with a Civil Affairs Unit, where he worked for 17 years. He was promoted to Colonel and served at the Pentagon.

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Kelleher, Alyssa M.

War or Conflict: OEF, 2001-2012

Coverage: 2000-2012

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army, A Co., 710 BSB, 3rd BDE, 10th MTN. Div.; and F Co., 186 BSB, 1-102 In. Bn.

Rank: Captain

Subject: women's perpsective, 9/11, 102nd Infantry, supply officer

Alyssa Kelleher enlisted in the National Guard in December of 2000. She never saw the TV coverage of the 9/11 attacks, but was told of the incident by her drill sergeant during basic training. There were 190 men and 8 women in her unit. Kelleher contracted with ROTC in 2002 while still in the National Guard. She was called to active duty in 2004, immediately after graduating from ROTC. After 4 years spent at Fort Drum, in New York as a General Supply Officer, she was deployed to Afghanistan. After volunteering to support the 102nd Infantry, she hand-picked people for her unit. Her infantry had recovery missions in the Ghazni area, then moved to Mehtar Lam. There was some interaction with locals; little girls wanted the female soldiers to take off their helmets so that they could see their hair. Kelleher was ultimately made the Executive Officer for her company and went back to the States, to Fort Drum. She had experiences with Russian mines and IEDs.

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Leger, JoelPatrick

War or Conflict: Iraq War, 2003-2012

Coverage: 1998-2004

Branch/Unit: Army, 101st Airborne Division

Ran: Specialist Fourth Class (SP4)

Subjects: Iraq War 2003 invasion, Black Hawk Helicopter, Patriot Missile, 9/11/2001, Counter-narcotics Trafficking

JoelPatrick Leger enlisted in the U.S. Army two weeks before his 18th birthday, in December of 1997. After basic training, he transferred to Fort Eustis (VA) for advanced training, where he learned how to fix and maintain Black Hawk helicopters. He eventually switched to flight duty and becoming crew chief.His job was to navigate, calculate fuel consumption, and do surveillance. Leger was stationed in Korea during the bombings of September 11, 2001. At the time they thought the news was a rumor for training purposes. When Leger returned to the United Sates, he was eating lunch with some friends when they learned that their 101st Division would be deployed to Iraq while watching CNN, where it was listed on the bottom ticker. In February of 2003, he was deployed to Iraq, where he would fly transport missions as a Black Hawk crew chief for one year. He was discharged in August of 2004, and returned to Connecticut where he began school at CCSU just a few weeks later. He is working towards earning a B.S. in History Education.

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Lucas, Charley H.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War

Coverage: 1955-1976

Branch/Unit: U.S. Navy

Rank: Lieutenant Commander/O-4

Subjects: Vietnam and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Mr. Lucas joined the Navy ROTC in 1951 while attending Duke University. He attended Duke on Scholarship from the US Navy which required he serve two years in the Navy as an officer. After Duke he went to flight training in Pensacola Florida. After some single engine training he was assigned to a fighter squadron in California. He has many experiences in landing both on the ground and on aircraft carriers. His service included locations such as the Philippines, Japan, Hawaii and other locations in the Pacific. After he left active duty he continued in the reserves flying one weekend a month. In October 1961 he was activated for about three months during the Cuban missile crisis. He continued in the reserves until 1976 when he retired. Mr. Lucas has numerous experiences to share.

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Marshall, Vanessa A.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1964-1978

Branch/Unit: U. S. Army

Rank: Major (O-4)

Subject: Women and the military, Army Nurses, Vietnam War, Yale University, Harvard University, Military life

Vanessa A. Marshall enlisted in the army in 1964 as a captain because she had a bachelor’s degree in nursing and five years of experience. She went to basic training in Ft. Sam Houston, TX, where she was a platoon leader, and learned field techniques for dressing wounds in combat situations. She was transferred to Japan, just as the war in Vietnam was escalating. She stayed at the hospital in Japan for three years, where they treated wounded soldiers from Vietnam, in a 100 bed hospital that ended up accommodating hundreds more than intended. When she was sent back to the U.S. in November of 1967, the Army granted her request to obtain a master’s degree in midwifery from Yale University in exchange for two years of service for each year of education. She was the first military nurse in Yale’s nursing school. She moved around the country, practicing midwifery at many military hospitals, and delivered over 200 babies in about two years. She also spent 18 months on a military base in Germany, before she was discharged in 1978. She then joined the reserves, and obtained a doctorate in Public Health from Harvard, before retiring from the military in 1986. Since her discharge she has taught at Yale, and set up a midwifery masters program at University of Rhode Island among other accomplishments.

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May, Melissa

War or Conflict: Global War on Terrorism

Coverage: 2010-2015

Branch/Unit: U. S. Navy

Rank: PO2/E-5

Subject: Life in the Navy and aboard ship

Melissa joined the Navy after realizing that college was not for her and after her father recommended she enlist. She joined in August 2010. After completing her initial training, Melissa was assigned to the Naval Ocean Processing Facility (NOPF) Dam Neck. Melissa was later selected to be a part of the Auxiliary Security Forces (ASF). Later she was assigned to the USS Blue Ridge stationed out of Japan. While assigned to the USS Blue Ridge Melissa traveled to several countries and has many experiences to share.

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McBriarty, Thomas S.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1968-1971

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army / 1st Cavalry, A Co. 228th Aviation Co.

Rank: Staff Sergeant (E-6)

Subject: CH-47 Chinook Crew Chief, UH-60 Blackhawk and RAH-66 Comanche Development Program

As a crew chief and later a flight engineer, Thomas McBriarty flew over 250 combat hours during the Vietnam War, where he received nine air medals as a crew chief aboard a CH-47 "Chinook." On the morning of October 31, 1969, his helicopter came under heavy fire, resulting in a catastrophic systems failure. The aircraft executed a crash from 2,000 to the jungle canopy below. Rather than flee the burning vehicle, however, the young crew chief ran back into the fuselage and rescued the remaining crew. Nevertheless, his career with rotary wing aircraft continued throughout the war and into his civilian career. He worked as an official army representative for the Black Hawk helicopter program as the official Army representative to Sikorsky aircraft. Including both his military service and civilian contracting, he spent over thirty years working with the military, the majority of which was devoted to Army aviation.

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Mead, Joshua A.

War or Conflict: Afghanistan

Coverage: 2000-2017

Branch/Unit: CT Air National Guard

Rank:MSG/E-7

Subject: OIF, OEF, Horn of Africa

Mr. Mead joined the Air National Guard on June 27, 2000 and did his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. Two years later he was deployed to Jordan to help set up a new base, called Azraq and located in the middle of the desert. Mr. Mead originally served as a cook and was tasked at Azraq as an observer to watch how contracted cooks were preparing the service men and women's meal and making sure things were done correctly. He was later deployed to Al Dhafra Air Force Base as a library manager. Mr. Meade also has experiences in Public Affairs and Air Transportation. As of 2017 he is still serving in the Air National Guard.

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Metro, James J.

James J. Metro

War or Conflict: Vietnam War

Coverage: 1967-1969

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank:SPC-5/E-5

Subject: Vietnam

Mr. Metro had a Law Degree at the time of receiving his draft notice. After his basic training he went to Fort Gordon Georgia to attend Criminal Investigation School. He deployed to Vietnam as a Criminal Investigator. His main job while in Vietnam was to investigate crimes committed by soldiers or on base. He was later appointed as a Workers Comp commissioner. He later chose to go into his own private practice.

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Miller, Kipp O.

Kipp Miller

War or Conflict: Vietnam War

Coverage: 1968-1969

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank:Colonel/O-6

Subject: Vietnam as a Combat Helicopter Pilot

Mr. Miller enlisted in the Army as a Fire Direction controller and after being randomly selected to attend Officer Candidate School he was commissioned as an officer. As an officer he was a helicopter pilot. In Vietnam he transported troops to landing zones. He also served in Germany and stateside. Mr. Miller has a lot of experiences to share about the Army helicopter and his life in the service..

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Momparler, Michael

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1966-1969

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Division

Rank: 1LT

Subject: Officer Candidate School, Tet Offensive, leading troops, nighttime ambush

Michael Momparler enlisted in the Army in April of 1966, while living in College Point, NY. He was selected for Officer Candidate School and entered the program at age 19. His first assignment after OCS was in Fort Campbell, KY as an infantry training officer. He went to Fort Jackson, South Carolina before finally being sent to Panama for jungle training. There, he was taught map reading, escape and evasion, rappelling, and crossing streams and rivers. He was flown to Bien Hoa Air Base in Vietnam, at which point he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Division - "the Big Red One." He was eventually assigned to provide leadership to Lima 6. They were called the Black Scarf battalion. Momparler was involved with air assaults and overnight operations. His first firefight involved killing one of two snipers between Quan Loi and An Loc. Momparler earned the Bronze Star when he tried to dislodge an enemy soldier from a spider hole.

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Morawski, Frederick Peter

War or Conflict: WWII, 1941-1945

Coverage: 1942-1946

Branch: United States Marine Corps Reserve, 2nd Marine Division

Rank: Corporal (E-4)

Subject: Pacific Theatre of Operations : Tarawa, Guadalcanal,Saipan, Guam

Frederick Peter Morawski volunteered for the United States Marine Corps reserve in 1942. Deploying to the Pacific, Morawski fought in successive island campaigns, including Tarawa, Guadalcanal, Siapan, and Guam. Both he and his brother John served as marines, by war's end, however, Frederick was the only son who returned. The visciousness of jungle combat taught hard lessons to these young soldiers. As a veteran of several amphibious assaults, his senior NCOs taught him survival techniques, such as maintaining noise and movement discipline in order to avoid Japanese snipers. Recruited for the "V-12" program, Morawski utilized the GI Bill, which allowed him to complete a degree at Yale University.

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Morgan II, Buckley W.

War or Conflict: Persian Gulf War and Cold War

Coverage: 1984-2004

Branch: U.S. Army

Rank: Sergeant First Class/E-7

Subject:Kuwait and the Berlin Wall

Mr. Morgan enlisted in the Army and was trained as a Signal Operation Specialist. His first assignment was in Southern Germany near Ansbach. In 1987 Buck changed his MOS and was trained to be a Combat Engineer, which he stayed with till he retired. He served in multiple locations around the states. Mr. Morgan was assigned to the Berlin Brigade in Berlin Germany and lived yards from the Berlin wall as it was coming down in the late 1980's. Buck served as a recruiter from 1997 to 2000. Buck also served a tour in Kuwait in 2002. Buck retired from the Army in 2004 and has gone on to get his certification as a Social Studies teacher in Connecticut.

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Moser, William J.

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1968-1970

Branch/Unit: U.S. Marine Corps / A Co. 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division

Rank: CPL/E-4

Subject: Marine Recon in Vietnam

Mr. Moser enlisted on 21 February, 1968. After attending Basic training and a language school he was sent to Vietnam. While assigned in Vietnam Mr. Moser conducted numerous reconnaissance missions during his tour. Mr. Moser has numerous stories about his time in Vietnam, some humorous and some solemn. Mr. Moser also served in Okinawa before returning home. After his end of service he came to work for IBM and stayed there for 42 years.

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Nevers, Peter J.

Peter J. Nevers

War or Conflict: Vietnam, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1966-1967

Branch/Unit: G Company, 2nd Battalion, 26th Marines

Rank: Sergeant (E-5)

Subject: Booby traps, Patrolling, Washington D.C. Silent Drill Team

Arriving in Da Nang, Vietnam, in July of 1966, Peter J. Nevers quickly transitioned from his stateside service as a guard on the Silent Drill Team in Washington, D.C., to a squad leader in a combat zone. Faced with ambushes both day and night, the Marines formed "killer teams;" three-man listening posts that stayed outside the wire at night reporting enemy activity. As a squad leader, Nevers dealt with both ambushes and booby traps, the latter of which became prevalent during his tour. He recalls eating C-Rations for his Christmas dinner, as his platoon was called in for mine-sweeping duties. These hardships were made more bearable, however, for the fact that while under his command, every one of his squadmates survived their tour. Following an honorable discharge, he began a career at Pratt & Whitney and enrolled in the University of Hartford.

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Newman, William J.

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1962-1967

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: CPT/O-3

Subject: Service in Vietnam and Korea

William Newman was commissioned as a 2nd LT in 1961. His first duty assignment was in Korea. In Korea he was assigned to a transportation Battalion in the 7th Infantry Division. He was then assigned back to the U.S., Fort Eustis then assigned to Germany. In 1966 he received orders to report to Vietnam. Conducted daily convoy’s along Highway 19. Left Vietnam in 1967 to return home. After his service Mr. Newman went on to spend 36 years banking, insurance and brokerage firms. Currently owns his own company.

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Niedermayer, Joseph

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Branch/Unit: Navy, U.S.S. Enterprise (CVN-65)

Coverage: 1971-1975

Rank: Gunners Mate 3rd Class (E-4)

Subject: Vietnam War, Military Discharge, U.S.S. Enterprise, Operation Linebacker 1, Linebacker 2

Joseph Niedermayer enlisted in the United States Navy in October of 1971. His very low draft number motivated him to enlist in the Navy, which ensured that he would gain entry into his military branch of choice. At basic training at the Great Lakes Naval training center in Illinois, the recruits had to sign waivers called “Black Flags.” This was because it was so cold outside that sailors risked death from exposure. Niedermayer was assigned to the U.S.S. Enterprise, which was a nuclear powered aircraft carrier deployed to the South China Sea. The purpose of their carrier battle group comprised patrols of the North Vietnamese coastline, launching combat air patrols and airstrikes in support of US military operations. Niedermayer’s job on the ship was in the weapons division, which actually operated seven decks below the main deck. After the ship finished its mission in the waters of Vietnam, they sailed to the Indian Ocean to assist the island of Mauritius, which had experienced a large typhoon. He was discharged from the navy in October of 1975. He returned to Connecticut and began a career with the Connecticut Department of Public Safety, where he still worked to the date of the interview.

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Patten, James S.

James Patten

War or Conflict: Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Coverage: 1968-1971

Rank: SGT/E-5

Subject: Vietnam and Counterintelligence operations

Mr.Patten was a resident of Torrington Connecticut at the time of his enlistment into the Army. He served in Military Intelligence as a Counterintelligence Special Agent during the height of the Vietnam War. Although Mr. Patten did not deploy to Vietnam he has many experiences as a special agent to share. After serving three years as a CI Special Agent he returned home to Torrington CT.

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Rachuba, Robert M.

War or Conflict: OIF II

Coverage: 2001-2005

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: SPC/E-4

Subject: OIF

Mr. Rachuba joined the Army as an Infantry man in 2001 and served a tour in Korea before being deployed to Iraq. He was deployed to Sadr City Iraq which was supposed to be a safe area. During his tour in Sadr City it became one of the most dangerous places in Iraq. He received two Purple hearts during his deployment for injuries received during combat actions.

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Rivera, Carlos

Rivera

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1967-1970

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: SGT/E-5

Subject: Service in Vietnam

Mr. Rivera served in the Army from 1967 to 1970. After Basic training and airborne training, Mr. Rivera served in Vietnam as a member of a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP). He and his team would go out for 7-10 day missions patrolling different areas of Vietnam in search of enemy activity. Mr. Rivera survived numerous LRRP missions while over 37% of his unit did not return home. Mr. Rivera estimates that while out on his LRRP missions he had enemy contact 80% of the time. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge before finally being able to return home himself. After returning from Vietnam Mr. Rivera continued serving stateside at West Point and later back at Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne Division.

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Rizzo, Dominic J.

War or Conflict: WWII, 1939-1945

Branch/Unit: Army, Anti aircraft artillery (AAA)

Coverage: 1943-1945

Rank: Technician, Fourth Class (T-4)

Subject: European Theatre of Operations

Dominic Rizzo was drafted into the United States Army in 1943 and served as an assistant supply sergeant and armorer in an anti aircraft artillery unit. Deployed to the European Theatre of Operations, Rizzo joined the Allied spearhead as they pushed their way across the continent. His responsibility was to preserve air-supremacy by maintaining a constant vigil for any German air attacks. He contributed to the success of this operation through logistical support. As an armorer and assistant to the supply sergeant, he ensured that the unit would be ready for any air attack that would threaten to lives of American soldiers.

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Roberts, Arthur E.

War or Conflict: Vietnam, 1961-1975

Branch/Unit: 6594th Test Squadron, Tactical Photo Reconnaissance

Coverage: 1966-1967

Rank: Staff Sergeant (E-5)

Subject: Cold War, Corona Satellite Photographic Intelligence, Precision Print Technician, SR-71

Arthur Roberts enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1961, completing tours of duty in Japan, the United States, and Vietnam. As a young airman, he was stationed at Misawa AFB in Northern Japan - only six minutes flight time from the Soviet Union. This proximity to the ongoing Cold War catalyzed his entry into the field of photo reconnaissance. From the base photo lab at Misawa, he was sent to Westover AFB in Chicopee, Massachusetts, where he participated in the "Corona" project, which involved an early generation of Air Force satellite surveillance systems. From high orbit, these devices would eject their negatives, which reentered the atmosphere near Hawaii and were sent to Westover for precision processing. For each satellite patrol, Roberts and his fellow technicians processed nearly thirty miles of film prints! During the Vietnam War, he was stationed at Ton Son Nhut Airbase in Saigon, where he continued his photographic reconnaissance duties with RF-101s and RF-4Cs flying both high and low level surveillance missions. He continued these clandestine duties at both Beale AFB in California, which sheltered the SR-71 "Blackbird" spyplanes, as well as Air National Guard in Pennsylvania, which serviced EC-130 Psychological Operations Aircraft.

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Roberts, James E.

War or Conflict: WWII, 1939-1945

Coverage: 1943 - 1945

Branch/Unit: Army, 385th Field Artillery Unit, 104th Infantry Division

Rank: Sergeant (E-4)

Subject: Campaigns: Germany, Nordhausen (Concentration camp), Prisoners of war, WWII Equipment and Supplies

James E. Roberts enlisted in the United States Army after finishing his sophomore year at the University of Illinois. He decided to enlist so that he could choose the branch of service with which he would serve. He attended basic training at Fort Bragg, NC, and then went to Rutgers College, NJ for a semester while he awaited an assignment. In August of 1944, Roberts arrived on the Belgian/German border and became part of the 385th Field Artillery Unit, 104th Infantry division, where he was an ammunitions handler. His job was to load and unload the ammunition for the Howitzer his unit used in combat. Robert had many experiences in Europe, including the crossing of the Rhine River, interacting with German civilians, witnessing serious battle fatigue, exposure to British prisoners of war, the liberation of the Nazi death camp, Nordhausen, and meeting up with the Russian army. Roberts was discharged from the army in December of 1945, and returned to the University of Illinois to finish his education.

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Rodin, Jack

Portrait of Jack Rodin

War or Conflict: WWII, 1939-1945

Coverage: 1942-1945

Branch/Unit: Army Air Force, 330th Bombardment Group

Rank: 1st Lieutenant (O-1)

Subject: Pacific Air War, 23 Missions as a B-29 Flight Crew Navigator

Jack Rodin enlisted in the United States Army Air Force, where he applied for various station assignments as a candidate flight crewman. He began his Air Force career as a candidate for pilot school, advanced through aerial gunnery school, and eventually graduated from Navigation School as a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant (O-1). Rodin deployed to the Pacific Theatre of Operations as a member of the 458th Bomber Squadron, 330th Bomb Group, where he completed twenty three missions in a B-29 "Superfortress." Their missions included a variety of high priority targets, which they raided either day or night. He observed the historic conclusion on the deck of the USS Missouri while flying "top cover" over Tokyo Bay. Although the war had ended, Rodin's appreciation of aviation had not. He forged a career as a draftmen for Pratt and Whitney Aviation, assisting the production of the sophisticated Lockeed SR-71 "Blackbird."

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Sandler, Heather L.B.

Heather LB Sandler

War or Conflict: OEF 2001-2012, OIF 2003-2012

Coverage: 1995-2005

Branch/Ship: U.S. Navy, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), VX-23, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)VF 37

Rank: AO1 Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (E-6)

Subject: Aircraft Carrier Flight Operations and Armorer Duties

Heather Lori Belanger Sandler enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln, the first male-female integrated ship on the West Coast of the United States. As a Naval Ordnanceman, her responsibilities included loading ammunition and missiles for F/A-18 Hornets, multirole air/ground attack aircraft. In 2001, she was transferred to the USS Harry S. Truman, which travelled to the Persian Gulf in support of ground operations. She noticed an increasing number of female personnel aboard the Truman from her 1st to 3rd deployment, nevertheless and through her hard work, helped to prove that she was just as capable of performing her duties as her male counterparts. Currently, she works for Senator Blumenthal, specializing in Veteran Constituent Affairs.

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Savage, Dennis M.

Heather LB Sandler

War or Conflict: Vietnam Era

Coverage: 1967-1998

Branch/Unit: Army and Army National Guard

Rank: COL/O-6

Subject: Vietnam (Civil War and WW-II)

Mr. Savage originally enlisted in the Army National guard in 1967. After attending the Connecticut Army National guard Officer Candidate Program he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer. After moving to Ohio he became a member of the Ohio National Guard and eventually returned to Connecticut.

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Scahill Sr., Frank

War or Conflict: Vietnam Era, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1959-1970

Branch/Unit: USAF, Air National Guard

Rank: Captain (O-3)

Subject: F-84, RF-84, F-100, Berlin Wall, Gulf of Tonkin, TWA

Frank Scahill, Sr. began his flying career at a young age, before enlisting in the United States Air Force. He flew early jet aircraft during the Cold War, beginning with the F-84 fighter and the RF-84 photoreconnaisance platform, then graduating to supersonic aircraft such as the F-100 "Super Sabre." His deployments ranged from Berlin to stanby alerts during the Gulf of Tonkin attack. He predominantly flew the F-100, which excelled as both a fighter and bomber. Consequently, he was involved in both Air Combat Command (ACC) and Tactical Air Command (TAC) duties. As a deterrent for potential Soviet incursions, Scahill flew for several Air National Guard squadrons, completing 11 years of service in the armed forces. Following his military career, he maintained a lifelong devotion to aviation as a TWA pilot.

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Shannon, Thomas H.

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1970-1976

Branch/Unit:U.S. Army

Rank: Captain (O-3)

Subject:Vietnam and Dewey Canyon II

Mr. Shannon entered active duty with dreams of being a fighter pilot. Due to a depth perception deficit he ended up in the 14th Engineer battalion at Fort Gordon Georgia. He was sent to Vietnam in December and actually landed in Yokohama Japan o Christmas eve. As an engineer in Vietnam his primary duties involved sweeping for mines and operating bulldozers. He built helicopter pads in preparation for Dewey Canyon II. He has many stories of how they improvised when they lacked basic needs.

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Shetland, Andrew F.

Andrew F Shetland

War or Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), 2001-present

Coverage: 2006-2007

Branch/Unit: U.S. Navy, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), U.S. Army National Guard, 2nd Battalion, B Company 242 Engineer Battalion, 169th Aviation Regiment

Rank: Corporal (E-4), presently a 1st Lieutenant (O-1)

Subject: Improvised Expolosive Devices, Humanitarian Aid, Convoy Escort Duties

A veteran of both the United States Navy and United States Army, Andrew Shetland began his military service as a Machinist Mate aboard the conventionally powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy. Discharged in 2000, he reenlisted in the military after the September 11, 2001 attacks, this time selecting the Army National Guard. His original military occupational speciality was combat engineering, however, his unit merged with an infantry company and he was retrained in small-unit tactics. Deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, his unit became a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), specializing in convoy escort and response-to-contact. He was quickly promoted to Corporal and following his tour, he applied for Officer Candidate School and is currently serving with the 169th Aviation Regiment in Enfield, CT.

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Skeels, Robert F.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1967-1971

Branch/Unit: U.S. Marine Corps, E Co., 2nd Bn., 4th Marine Reg., 3rd Marine Div; and B Co., 3rd Tank Bn., 3rd Marine Division

Rank: 1st Lieutenant

Subject: leading a rifle platoon, leading a tank platoon

Skeels enlisted in the Marine Corps after finishing his master's degree in education, deciding to "step up" and serve as his friends were doing. He thought the training in the U.S. Marine Corps would be the best. He joined in November 1967, graduating Officer Candidate School in August 1968. He selected armor as his Military Occupational Specialty and was sent to tank school in Camp Pendleton, California. When he graduated he was made a Tank Officer. He was sent to Vietnam to command an infantry platoon. Eventually he would switch to commanding a tank platoon. His platoon was often under-strength because of medical issues that were not combat-related. They patrolled jungle landscapes and travelled under cover of "harassing and interdiction fire." Skeels witnessed individuals fleeing to Laos, and had lots of contact with the North Vietnamese Army and mines, mortars, and rockets.

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Arthur P. Sladyk

War or Conflict: Vietnam/ Vietnam Era

Coverage: July 1965 to July 1971

Branch/Unit: U.S. Air force

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Subject: Serving in Vietnam and Okinawa Japan

Mr. Sladyk was a loadmaster in the Air Force stationed in several different locations throughout his 6 years Air Force career. His home base was in Tachikawa, Japan but most of his time was spent in Vietnam or Thailand. He has many memories of flight missions all over Vietnam and Laos. He recalls several Blind Bat missions that he played a role in and remembers many flights along the Ho Chi Minh supply route.

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Smith, Elbert (Al)

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1965-1968

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: 1LT

Subject: Service in Vietnam

Mr. Smith was drafted into the Army in 1965 and went to Fort Benning GA for Basic Training. He later went to Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. He deployed to Vietnam in April 1967. Mr. Smith was stationed in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. He has firsthand knowledge and experiences of patrols conducted in Vietnam and in dealing with the local populace. Found the return home to be challenging due to animosity of antiwar people back home. Mr. Smith has continued to support veterans through local programs in Connecticut.

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Sponder, Barry

Barry Sponder

War or Conflict: Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Coverage: 1968-1971

Branch/Unit: U.S. Air Force

Rank: Sergeant E-4

Subject: Worldwide Air/Radiation Sampling, Vietnam War Service in Thailand, Peace Corps Service (Nepal)

Barry Sponder volunteered for the Air Force in 1967 after receiving a draft notice during a period when many of his contemporaries were conscripted into the Marines. He went to a nine-month electronics technical school for repairing and maintaining equipment on aircraft flying routine air sampling missions, as well as missions sampling the atomic yield of Soviet and Chinese nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere. While stationed in Albuquerque, New Mexico his temporary duty stations included Alaska, Panama and Argentina. In December, 1970, despite only 60 people in the Air Force doing his highly specialized job, he was assigned to a Ground Electronics Engineering Installation Agency (GEEIA) support unit in Thailand. He subsequently ended his four-year service commitment in Japan. Five years later he joined the US Peace Corps and served for three years, with a posting in the Himalayan Mountains teaching English as a Second Language in a vocational school two days walk from Mt. Everest. He finished his Peace Corp volunteer service as an ESL Technical Trainer. Since 1997 Dr. Sponder has been a Professor of Instructional Technology at Central Connecticut State University.

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Stack, Austin

Austin Stack

War or Conflict: Korea

Coverage: 1948-1955

Branch/Unit: U.S. Marines

Rank: Sergeant E-5

Subject: Korea

Mr. Stack enlisted for one year of active duty followed by three years in the reserves. This was a common method for avoiding the draft which was a two year active duty commitment. After basic training and advanced training he went to Korea in December 1950. During his tour in Korea Austin saw combat on a daily basis. Austin was injured during his tour but managed to return to the states in good health.

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Stefanko, Thomas

Stefanko

War or Conflict: Iraq

Coverage: 1978-2008

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army National Guard

Rank: COL/0-6

Subject: Service in Bosnia & Iraq

Mr. Stefanko initially joined the Connecticut National guard in 1978 as an enlisted soldier in the career field of Combat engineer. Thomas went through Officer Candidate School and upon completion was commissioned an Infantry Officer in 1981. He would later successfully serve as Executive Officer and Commander of Company “A” 1st Battalion, 169th Infantry in New Britain, CT. He and his soldiers deployed to Bosnia in the role of Peace Keepers. Mr. Stefanko served as Chief of Staff for the Connecticut National Guard and was in that role at the time of the 9/11 attack and recalls a very fluid stream of events resulting from that attack. Mr. Stefanko has numerous stories of the Post 911 years up to his retirement.

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Suares, Kevin P.

Kevin P. Suares

Coverage: 1994-1998

Branch/Unit: U.S. Air Force, 305th Medical Group

Rank: Senior Airman (E-4)

Subject: Air Force Medical, College of the Air Force, Sheppard, McGuire Air Force Bases

Kevin Suares initially wanted to enlist in the Navy, but chose the Air Force instead. While at Sheppard Air Force Base, he volunteered to be an "Element Leader," or "Green Rope." This meant that he was responsible for the airmen assigned to a certain dormitory bay or element. He scored 97 points out of a possible 99 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), so that he was eligible for most any military career of his choosing. His top choices were all medical in nature, so he was made a pharmacy technician. Training for this position lasted three months and included learning the names and side effects of about 200 drugs. He was assigned to the hospital at McGuire Air Force Base in June or July of 1995, at which two people would fill between 1,500 and 3,000 prescriptions a day between them. He didn't leave the continental U.S., and his service became akin to a 9-5 job. While in base housing, he stopped what would have been a fire in a Marine recruiter's condo.

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Tazzara, David E.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1968-1970

Branch/Unit: 120th Americal Division Recon

Rank: E-5

Subject: 120th Americal Division Recon, friendship in the military, M-16 rifle

David Tazzara volunteered to serve along with his two friends, Paul Vaccari and Joseph Godenzi.All three were sent to Fort Dix, NJ for basic training. Their advanced training took place at Fort Polk, LA. After they were processed in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, they were finally split up. Tazzara was assigned to LZ Bronco, but kept in touch with his two friends with letters. Being in a reconnaissance platoon involved missions that were "high-anxiety, quite frightening, and chaotic;" about six men from Tazzara's platoon were killed in action. In the middle of a firefight, Tazzara saved a soldier from crossing enemy lines by tackling him. A typical day included surverying the ground for enemy movement or tracking for potential hazards like booby traps or snipers. Missions averaged at five days long, though one went on for forty-seven. Tazzara spent his last five months in Vietnam, working as a driver/assistant for the Intelligence commander. He saw Paul Vaccari again upon return to Cam Ranh Bay, but Joseph Godenzi was in a hospital in Japan at the time. Tazzara returned Winsted, CT, which was not harboring as much anti-Vietnam sentiment as the west coast. With five months remaining in his tour, Tazzara was sent to Fort Benning, GA to train officers for deployment to Vietnam. On the way there he became very sick due to blood worms contracted in Vietnam. After taking medical leave, restrictions regarding strenuous activity were placed on his record. Tazzara received two Purple Hearts; one was awarded for an njury sustained while chasing Viet Cong, and the other was awarded for an injury sustained during a search and destroy mission.

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Thomson, Chilton (Tony)

Thomson

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1963-1966

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: SPC-5/E-5

Subject: Service in Vietnam

Mr. Thomson joined the Army in 1963 after being kicked out of Yale. He went on to serve as part of a survey team in Germany as an Artillery surveyor. In 1965 he volunteered to go to Vietnam because he thought the warm climate would be a welcome change to the cold German winters. Although he was not personally involved in any combat he does recall many events that are still strong in his memory. Tony has several memories of how he was treated upon his return from Vietnam even though he had no combat history in Vietnam. Tony wrote a book about Vietnam Eat Your Heart Out, Ho Chi Minh or Things You Won’t Learn at Yale.

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Tollefsen, Kjell T.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1966-1968

Branch/Unit: Army, 188th Assault Helicopter Company

Rank: Chief Warrant Officer (CW-3)

Subject: Vietnam, Assault Helicopter, Distinguished Flying Cross

Kjell T. Tollefsen joined the U.S. Army in 1966 and went for flight training and helicopter school. He arrived in Dau Tieng, Vietnam in November of 1966, where he became a pilot in the 188th Assault Helicopter Company, also known as the Black Widows. Tollefsen went out on his first mission as a co-pilot, and describes the mission as overwhelming because of the intensity and aggression involved. In subsequent missions he describes how the activity became routine. The helicopter pilots were responsible for transporting supplies, troops, ammunition, and medical evacuations, among other activities. Tollefsen was shot down on three different occasions, for which he earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses. One of the helicopters Tollefsen flew pumped thick smoke in advance of troops, in order to confuse the North Vietnamese. As one of only a few helicopters in Vietnam that had this capacity, the helicopter earned the nickname “Smokie.” He returned to the United States in 1968. He was then sent to Germany to teach other pilots how to be flight instructors, and to finish out his four year enlistment. After his discharge he returned to Connecticut.

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Tramontano, Joseph D.

Joseph Tramontano

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1963-1966

Branch/Unit: 11th Air Air Assault Division (Test), 1/9 1st Air Cavalry

Rank: Sergeant (E-4)

Subject: Air Assault Training, Battle of Ia Drang

As an army paratrooper attached to the reactivated 11th Airborne Division, Joseph D. Tramontano received both airborne and air assault training at Fort Benning Georgia. For two years, his unit trained in experimental helicopter assault techniques, which would soon be battle tested in the Vietnam War. Reassigned to the 1st Air Cavalry Division, Tramontano volunteered for a position in the 1/9th Reconnaissance Platoon, which was in dire need of machine gunners. After locating an NVA presence in the Chu Pong mountains, Colonel Hal Moore led 1/9's sister company, 1/7 into the Ia Drang Valley, which became the site of a vicious three day battle for the US Cavalry troopers. As reinforcements for 1/7, the scout platoon was sent into the Ia Drang Valley on the third and final day of battle. Although wounded during the assault, Tramontano and the 9th cavalry assisted in overpowering the North Vietnamese and routing them from the Chu Pong mountains.

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Urso, Lou

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1965-1968

Branch/Unit: United States Army, 3rd BDE, 4th ID

Rank: Sergeant (E-5)

Subject: Vietnam, Fire Support Base Gold and the Battle of Soui-Tre

Mr. Urso enlisted in the Army in 1965 and attended Basic training at Fort Dix New Jersey, then Artillery AIT at Fort Sill Oklahoma. In 1966 he was deployed to Vietnam aboard the General Nelson M. Walker. Played a part in Operation Cedar Falls. He was on Fire support Base Gold (Soui Tre) when it came under extremely intensive attack from all directions. After the battle at FSB Gold he had a calmer but not stress free tour in Vietnam. He experienced returning home to an unwelcoming people at the airports. Today he continues to serve as a Referee to juvenile sports.

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Vernesoni, Aldo

War or Conflict: Korea

Coverage: 1954-19588

Branch/Unit: U.S. Air Force

Rank:Airman First class/ E-3

Subject: Cold War

Mr. Vernesoni joined the Air force with hopes of being a pilot but found out he was colored blind. He ended up with a job of Radio operator. Aldo did not experience any combat tours but managed to be assigned to areas such as Tripoli Libya where he was in charge of a Military Affiliated Radio Station (MARS). Served a tour in Germany. After his service Aldo went to UHART where he used his GI Bill to pay for his tuition.

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Walden, Daniel J.

Walden

War or Conflict: Vietnam

Coverage: 1965-1970

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army

Rank: CPT/O-6

Subject:Service in the 82nd Airborne Division and Vietnam

Mr. Walden graduated ROTC in June 1965 and received his Army Commission. Daniel was a signal officer assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. He was sent to Detroit to suppress the riots going on there in the mid-1960s. In 1967 Mr. Walden was deployed to Vietnam and was assigned to the 101st Division in Bien Hoa. He was awarded the Bronze star and the Army Commendation medal.

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Wekerle, John J.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1965-1968

Branch/Unit: United States Army, 101st Airborne Division, 1st BDE, A CO 2/327th INF

Rank: Sergeant (E-5)

Subject: Vietnam War, Airborne Training, "Stay Alert and Stay Alive"

During the Vietnam War, John J. Wekerle volunteered for the United States Army, applying for airborne training. With his "go ahead, you are not going to break me" attitude, he passed airborne selection and jump school. Once he arrived in-country, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, where he learned the mantra of "Stay alert and stay alive." As a young "cherry" in the field, he quickly learned the hard lessons of the field. Being so close to death, he developed a new appreciation for life, recalling the horrific excitement of walkingpoint and the aftermath of NLF booby traps. Following his tour in Vietnam, he joined the New York police force, where he was able to apply some of his service lessons to the "street wise" mentality needed for an urban patrolman.

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Wiknik, Jr., Arthur

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1968-1970

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division

Rank: Staff Sergeant (E-6)

Subject: Infantry, Battle of Hamburger Hill, Vietnam, 1969

Arthur Wiknik, Jr. was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968. He was assigned to an infantry unit, was chosen to go to Non-commissioned Officer Candidate School, and went to Vietnam as a Sergeant. Because of the short amount of time that Wiknik was in the Army, he was known as an "instant NCO", and some of the men and fellow officers in Vietnam were less than enthusiastic about having him as their squad leader at first. After a month in Vietnam, Wiknik had not experienced any combat situations, then his company was sent to the A Shau Valley where it was attached to another company that was embroiled in the battle of Hamburger Hill, one of the most significant battles of the Vietnam War. After the battle, the company stayed in the A Shau Valley, where they rotated patrols through the jungle, and provided security for a remote firebase. After one year, Wiknik was discharged and sent home to Connecticut. When he arrived at Bradley International Airport, he was saddened to find that people would not sit next to him because he was wearing his uniform. While in Vietnam, he was unaware of the turmoil within the U.S., and how troops arriving home from the war were treated. Wikniks book about his experiences in Vietnam, "Nam Sense", was published in 2005.

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Wing, Ron P.

Ron P. Wing

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1966-1967

Branch/Unit: U.S. Army, A Company, 2nd Bn, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division

Rank: Specialist 4th Class (SP-4)

Subject: Infantry, Central Highlands (Pleiku Province), Radio Telephone Operator (RTO)

Ron P. Wing was drafted with two older brothers already in the service. He was shipped off to Vietnam in a merchant marine ship, during which he experienced a typhoon. After arriving in Qui Nhon, the 4th Infantry Division traveled at length to ultimately set up the 4th Infantry Headquarters. His first combat assault included jumping out of a helicopter into elephant grass, which injured more people than enemy combat did during that mission. His division encountered Viet Cong, the Vietnamese Army, and some Chinese. As the Executive Officer's radio operator, Wing took care of food supply, clothing, medical needs, and communicating with helicopters. Wing was also a mail clerk. He saw Bob Hope during a USO show, and was given one week of leave in Japan. He remembers crossing into Cambodia and traversing the Ho Chi Minh Trail, though U.S. military was not supposed to be there. He sometimes had to relocate indigenous people from villages that were to be bombed. An interpreter would interrogate POWs for information. Halfway through his campaign, Wing's unit was mechanized. At the end of his service, Wing was surprised by the negative reception he received; he was even spat upon. He is commited to making sure today's veterans get a better homecoming.

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Winn, Gerald P.

War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Coverage: 1968-1970

Branch/Unit: United States Marine Corps, 2nd Marine Division

Rank: Corporal (E-4)

Subject: An Hoa Province, Ia Drang Valley, Booby Traps

Gerald Winn enlisted in the Marine Corps in August of 1968. Following 14 weeks of weeks of training, he deployed to An Hoa Province in Vietnam, where the Marines conducted ambushes and patrols. The men pursued the NVA on helicopters, trucks, and foot, mounting frequent patrols in areas nicknamed "Dodge City" or the "Arizona Territory." The North Vietnamese and NLF were active in these areas and his unit, "Fox company," suffered many casulties. As evidence of future offensive operations, the unitoften discovered caches of rice and weapons, as well as numerous "booby-traps" and expolsive devices. One of these weapons, a rigged grenade or mortar round, exploded near Winn, projecting him nearly ten feet in the air. He was evacuated in the span of half an hour and reached a Navy hospital in Japan, where he spent three months in recovery. After the war, Winn worked for the United States Postal Service for 31 years, never regretting his years as a young marine, where he enlisted as a "young punk and came out a wise man."

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