Vietnam War

Oral History Interview: Richard Bartolotti

A man being interviewed.

Richard Bartolotti. WSIU

Richard Bartolotti was born and raised in Valier, Illinois, a small town consisting of only thirty or so people.

In an attempt to avoid going straight to Vietnam during the war, Bartolotti signed up for the Marine Corps. However, once he completed basic training in San Diego, Bartolotti ended up flying straight to Vietnam anyway.

He shares stories about his rigorous training, his grenade-inflicted injury, and the immense culture shock he experienced not only after he landed in Vietnam for the first time, but when he finally came back home from the war as well. Bartolotti does not support violence in war, but he does value the formative discipline of military training, and in the end imparts some advice to those who may be considering the option of joining the military after high school.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Richard Bartlolotti