Part of the “My Story of Service” series and in partnership with the upcoming documentary "The Vietnam War," by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, “Vietnam War Stories,” is a collection of personal stories from local veterans who served in Vietnam. Coming from a variety of branches and backgrounds, they describe their experiences during deployment, and what happened when they came back home.

Gary FosterGary Foster
U.S. Army 1967 – 1998

Select a story:

“Welcome Home, Dude”

Gary tells his story of returning home from Vietnam.

“Crying in Combat”

Gary remembers the sad loss of a friend.

“This isn’t good…”

Gary remembers the sad loss of a friend.

Cecil MisnerCecil Misner
U.S. Army 1970 – 1997

Select a story:

“It Was Unforgivable”

Cecil shares a shocking story of fellow soldier’s actions in Vietnam.

“Mines Were Facing Out”

Cecil tells the story of his “crash.”

“I Was Wrong”

Cecil remembers a “friend” in Vietnam that turned out not to be a friend.

“Fun and Games”

Cecil shares his story of when Vietnam stopped being fun & games

David AragonDavid Aragon
U.S. Army 1973 – 1989

Select a story:

“Worst Experience of My Life”

David shares the story of his returning home during Vietnam.

Larry SlesslerLarry Slessler
U.S. Air Force 1961 – 1972

Select a story:

“The Law of Randomness”

Larry reflects on a simple fact that he learned in Vietnam.

“Operation Stay Behind”

Larry remembers when he learned something in Vietnam that he didn’t want to know.

“A Party in Vietnam”

Larry shares a story of a party in Vietnam.

Jerry HeckersJerry Heckers
U.S. Army 1966 – 1970

Select a story:

“I Was Proud of That Uniform”

Jerry remembers coming home from his first and last Vietnam tours and how the country had changed as well as his struggles with the V.A.

“Something’s Not Right…”

Jerry recalls the “worst of the worst” from his time in Vietnam.

“What Do You Mean? I Felt Safe?!”

Jerry shares a surprising realization about his time in Vietnam.

Michael MeerMichael Meer
U.S. Army 1966 – 1967

Select a story:

“Suddenly My Left Knee Was Hot”

Michael recounts being injured in Vietnam and the end of the Armed Chinook Helicopter Program.

“What War Is”

Michael shares a hard truth about his time in Vietnam.

“365 and a Wake-Up…”

Michael reports on how the time in Vietnam seems to change a solider.

“Stalling the Helicopter”

Michael recalls how firing the 20mm cannon would stall the helicopter.

“Tree Branches Hitting the Helicopter”

Michael tells about the time in Vietnam when his life flashed before his eyes.

“It Looked Like Frontierland”

Michael remembers his first impressions of Vietnam.

“They’ve Overrun the Base”

Michael recalls when he first arrived in Vietnam.

“My Life Was Upside Down”

Michael shares his story of being drafted by the Army and being asked to volunteer to join the Marines.

Wallace "Van" NicholasWallace “Van” Nicholas
U.S. Army 1966 – 1970

Select a story:

“Returning Home”

Van shares his reflections, regrets and the rewards of service in Vietnam.

“First Tour Reflections”

Van reflects on his first Vietnam Tour and why he volunteered to go back.

“Through 200 Feet of Trees”

Van remembers his three crashes while a helicopter pilot in Vietnam.

“A Rescue Mission”

Van tells the story of flying a late night rescue mission in the jungles of Vietnam.

“Into the River They Went”

Van shares the story of two missions that both went horrible wrong in Vietnam.

“Vietnam: First Impressions”

Van remembers his first impressions of Vietnam.

“Daily Missions”

Van recounts missions in Vietnam from “Ash and Trash” to combat assaults gone wrong.

“Young Enlistee”

Van recalls the community’s reaction when he enlisted in the Army during the early days of Vietnam.

Ronald D. ClisbyRonald D. Clisby
U.S. Air Force 1953 - 1974

Select a story:

“Bombing close to “Friendlys” on the Ho Chi Minh Trail”

Ron shares a story of bombing near a group of “Friendlys” on the Ho Chi Minh trail.

Allen HallmarkAllen Hallmark
U.S. Army, 1966 - 1969

Select a story:

“I Wasn’t Behaving Like a Good Soldier”

Allen shares a story about protesting the war while still in service.

Dennis StrayerDennis Strayer
U.S. Navy, 1966 – 1970

Select a story:

“I Cried, Because I Survived”

Dennis reflects on the struggles of returning home from war in Vietnam.

Visit the our PBS Veterans' page here.