Jerome Wiese
Tim Meyers/Illinois Public Media
December 23, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Jerome Wiese

Jerome Wiese of Rantoul, Illinois served as a combat medic in the Army during the Vietnam War from 1970-1971. Destined to become a soldier, he loved the friendships he developed in the Army and has no regrets about what he and other soldiers did during the war.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Jerome Wiese


Paul Wisovaty
Tim Meyers/Illinois Public Media
December 23, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Paul Wisovaty

Paul Wisovaty was hanging out in pool halls in Taylorville, Illinois when he was drafted into the military in 1966. In 1968, he served six months as a radio operator in an armored personnel carrier during the Vietnam War. His war experiences and college education transformed him into an anti-war activist.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Paul Wisovaty


Bruce Thiemann
WTVP
December 23, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Bruce Thiemann

Bruce Thiemann of East Peoria, Illinois dropped out of college and enlisted in the Army in 1968 and was sent to Vietnam where he was assigned as a helicopter mechanic who assisted with insertion missions and dropping off and picking up troops. He was eager to experience combat first-hand but after serving in Vietnam, he was ashamed and took more than a decade to heal his psychological wounds and feel proud of his service.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Bruce Thiemann


Robert Ritter
Tim Meyers/Illinois Public Media
December 23, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Robert Ritter

Robert Ritter grew up in Monticello, Illinois and served in the Navy during the Vietnam War from 1967 – 1969. He maintained and operated the gunfire control equipment and was support for the forces on the ground. War taught him how to appreciate life and what America has to offer.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Robert Ritter


A man being interviewed on set
Tim Meyers/Illinois Public Media
December 22, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Joseph Rank

Joseph Rank of Urbana, Illinois served as an officer in the Navy during the Vietnam War and remained in the Navy for years after. As an officer, he was responsible for 60 gunners’ mates and fire control technicians who operated the guns. Making precise measurements while getting little sleep was just part of the job.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Joseph Rank


A man being interviewed on set
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
December 22, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Gary Price

Gary Price always knew he wanted to fly. When he joined the Marine Corps in 1971, he finally got his chance. He participated in the evacuation of refugees and military personal toward the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Price continues to cultivate his passion for flying by working as a helicopter pilot for air medical services.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Gary Price


A man being interviewed on set
WSIU
December 22, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: John Metzger

Not too keen to join a combat unit, John Metzger of Metropolis, Illinois jumped at the opportunity to become a chaplain’s assistant after enlisting in the Army in 1969 and being sent to Quy Nhơn, Vietnam. After serving his time, he graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Ph.D. in history.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - John Metzger


Joseph LaHood
WTVP
December 22, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Joseph LaHood

Joseph LaHood of Peoria, Illinois joined the Marine Corps in 1969 after getting kicked out of numerous local high schools. He was sent to LZ Ross in Vietnam where he administered supplies and was a patrolman.  He attended years of therapy to unpack traumatic memories that he had repressed from his experiences in Vietnam. In the process, he rediscovered his Catholic faith and became a deacon for three different churches.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Joseph LaHood


A man being interviewed on set.
WTVP
December 22, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Bill Martin

Bill Martin of North Pekin, Illinois joined the Army in 1965 and served in Quy Nhơn, Vietnam for 18 months as a forward observer for artillery units where he coordinated communications for firing rounds and adjusted coordinates for the soldiers. Ever since returning from the war, Martin has been involved in several organizations that aid and celebrate American war veterans.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Bill Martin


A man sitting in front of an American flag
WSIU
December 22, 2015

[Vietnam] Oral History Interview: Wade Lemons

Wade Lemons of Sesser, Illinois was drafted into the military right out of high school where he joined the infantry and fought in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. Lemons, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, provides a detailed first-hand account of how he survived day-to-day on the ground in wartime.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Wade Lemons


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