Daniel Kennedy served as an adjutant in the Army from 1969 – 1976 and was also an aviator. He made phone calls to young men telling them when they were going to be deployed in Vietnam. Kennedy himself was never deployed, and suffered “survivor’s guilt” for several years.
Randall Richardson served as an Army infantry platoon leader during the Vietnam War from 1969-1971. He survived combat and a life- threatening note from one of his soldiers and fired upon a group of Montagnards. He’s a better father and worker as a result of his military training.
Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Randall Richardson
During the Vietnam War, Timothy Kendall was a student at Notre Dame where his thinking about the war evolved gradually until he became a pacifist. He was later imprisoned after refusing to comply with the draft.
Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Timothy Kendall
Richard Hertel served in the Army as a personnel clerk and chapel organist in Phu Loi during the Vietnam War from 1969 to 1970. Upon returning home, he started a long journey of divorcing his wife, separating from his daughter and coming out as a gay man.
Terry Hairrell of Waukegan, Illinois served in the Army from 1967 – 1969. While on combat missions in Vietnam, he was awarded a Purple Heart. His war experiences scarred him deeply; but with help of a loving wife, he has recovered to make meaning of his experiences with those he served.
Ut Ha grew up in Da Lat Vietnam, one of eight children, in the 1960s and 1970s. She survived multiple acts of war, invasion and displacement. In 1990, she moved to the United States with her husband, Bon Bui, a former prisoner of war.
Bon Bui was born in Quảng Bình, Vietnam in 1946 and fled to the South during the war. He became a South Vietnamese Marine during the war and was trained by US forces in the United States. After Saigon fell in 1975, he become a prisoner of war for 10 years before finally relocating to America under an asylum program. Bui recounts the atrocities of war first hand.
While the Vietnam War raged on, 18-year-old Thomas Boaz from Decatur, Illinois was living as an exchange student in post-WWII Germany. Required by law to register for the draft, he did so as a non-combative conscientious objector and later became a nonpolitical pacifist.
Steve Allen of Newman, Illinois was a combat Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam War from 1970-1971. He attributes his Christian faith to keeping himself and his men alive and helping him make moral decisions during the hell of war.