Vietnam War
Bruce Thiemann

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.

A man being interviewed on set
Tim Meyers/Illinois Public Media

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.

Joseph LaHood

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.

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