Vietnam War

Oral History Interview: Donald Hyche

A man being interviewed on camera in a studio

Courtesy WILL

Donald Hyche of Champaign, Illinois enlisted in the United States Marines Corps in 1969 and served until 1973.  He was an area door gunner on a helicopter in Vietnam from 1970 – 1971.

Hyche was an only child. Born in Northport, Alabama, he grew up in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago in the 1950s. To his mother’s dismay, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during the height of the American War in Vietnam.  

Hyche talks about his experiences in battle, race relations, drug use and prostitution.  He is deeply reflective about the costs of killing on his spirit and mind.  Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, Hyche discusses his long struggle towards recovery with hope that other veterans similarly impacted will seek help.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Donald Hyche