Just another high school interview

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Just another high school interview

Postby Senior » Sun May 01, 2011 4:08 pm

Hello, my name is Meryl and I'm a high school senior. I'd like to ask a couple of interview questions, if that's all right? I'll just paste the bulk of the questions here:

1) What's your name? When did you serve in Vietnam?

2) What do you remember about your feelings when you found out that you were going to Vietnam? Why did you think that you and other Americans were in Vietnam at the time?

3) What specific memories did you have about your experiences in Vietnam?

4) Did these experiences change how you viewed what you were doing in Vietnam? If so, explain.

5) How were you treated by your friends and family when you returned from the war?

6) How do you now view your service in Vietnam and the reasons for which you were sent?

7) What lessons for Americans do you see in the Vietnam war experience, if any?

Thanks so much for all the help!
Senior
 

Re: Just another high school interview

Postby bill » Sun May 01, 2011 7:54 pm

hello meryl,

when is your paper due?

bill
bill
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Re: Just another high school interview

Postby Guest » Sun May 01, 2011 10:22 pm

Hello Bill,
Monday and Tuesday. I'm sorry this is so short notice.
-Meryl
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Re: Just another high school interview

Postby bill.mcbride » Mon May 02, 2011 6:19 pm

Senior wrote:Hello, my name is Meryl and I'm a high school senior. I'd like to ask a couple of interview questions, if that's all right? I'll just paste the bulk of the questions here:

1) What's your name? When did you serve in Vietnam?

bill mcbride. i arrived 19 june 1967 and left in july, 1968. i was assigned to the 3rd reconniassance battalion, 3rd marine division in phu bai, vietnam. our operating area was from phu loc north to the dmz, and west to the lao border.

2) What do you remember about your feelings when you found out that you were going to Vietnam? Why did you think that you and other Americans were in Vietnam at the time?

i had been in the marines since 1958 so i was well prepared when i received my orders to vietnam. it certainly was no surprise. we had been training for various deployments and contingency operations for a long time prior to going. i was anxious about going, but didn't have any dependents to worry about at the time, so it was not a difficult separation. at the time i believed that we were in vietnam to buy time for the south vietnamese government and armed forces and to stop the spread of communism. it turned out we were all pawns in a high stakes geopolitical game with many hidden agendas.

3) What specific memories did you have about your experiences in Vietnam?

i returned in 2006 and spent several weeks visiting areas that i have been in during the war. the trip brought back some specific memories...the smells, the lush green forests, the constant stream of humanity on the streets in the small towns, the kids. my wartime memories are mostly of marines and sailors i served with...many of whom didn't make it back, and of the sights and sounds of firefights, artillery, helicopters, memorial services, hospital visits, and my brief r&r in australia.

4) Did these experiences change how you viewed what you were doing in Vietnam? If so, explain.

yes, i became a lot more sensitive to the human costs of war and suffering. i am also very skeptical and distrusting of politicians and others who think that military might is the answer to the worlds problems.

5) How were you treated by your friends and family when you returned from the war?

i stayed in the marines after the war, so i was in a "cocoon" and among others who knew and understood where we had been and what we had done. i didn't have much interaction with the outside, civilian world for several years following the war.

6) How do you now view your service in Vietnam and the reasons for which you were sent?

i am proud of my service and that of my comrades. in retrospect, the reasons we were sent were wrong. we did what we were asked to do. war is rarely the right course of action, especially if there are other alternatives.

7) What lessons for Americans do you see in the Vietnam war experience, if any?

question more. don't take the government's word at face value without challenging the motives and methods.

Thanks so much for all the help!
bill.mcbride
 

Re: Just another high school interview

Postby Guest » Mon May 02, 2011 7:39 pm

Thank you so much. I realize that questions like this are of a sensitive nature, and I'm really glad that you were able to help me out on this.
-Meryl
Guest
 

Re: Just another high school interview

Postby dave » Tue May 03, 2011 11:28 am

1. Dave Wright, served between 11/68 - 11/69.

2. Went through Basic Training and recieved our orders for Advanced Individual Training. Many got orders for vehical maintenance, radio operator, clerks, artillary, tanks; only three of us were sent directly to advanced infantry training. My stomach knoted up, we moved across the parade grounds to our new barracks and spent the weekend knowing it was Vietnam - "do not pass go - do not collect $200." I had never felt so lonely in my life to that point.

The Cold War had turned hot in this one little country in Southeast Asia. There was real fear of Communism and we thought this would be the opportunity to stop the aggressive expansion of a society that believed terrorism and a plice state were legitimate methods of governing.

3. Most memories involve memboers of my squad or platoon. We became very close. We trusted one another with our lives. We laughed and cried, lived and died together 24-7, for 365 days. Sudden, violent losses were the most difficult to deal with.

4. My view of war quickly changed from fighting and dying for a great cause to simple survival for myself and those around me. I never saw John Wayne, just kids who saw what needed to be done and did it the best they could.

5. My family, my fianccee and myself expected life would return to how it had been before going to Vietnam. I thought the way to do it was bury all the experiences deeply and strongly deny they could bother me - then just get on with life. I married my fiancee, finished college, got a good job, built a new home and went to church twice a week. Inside, I was totally empty, there was nothing satisfying about the American Drean other than I achieved it.

It seemed that no one wanted to know what actually happened in Vietnam. They couldn't identify with the horror and didn't know what to ask beyond how many gooks did you kill? My answer was "I killed my share, or I killed as many as it took to get home." I couldn't put a whole sentence together about the war without feeling overwhelmed anyway. Besides, I was in denial that Vietnam effected me.

6. I'm proud of doing my job and helping some kids come home. I was no different than anyone else. God did many miricles to bring me home - things I had no control over. Vietnam ended up being a pretty big wack in the head whick God used to get my attention.

7. Politics and war have two different goals. Politics is used to get a concensiss from parties involved to achieve a compromise solution that can be accepted by all. War is a tool to overpower an opponant and impose your will upon them. Mixing politics and war makes things really confusing expecially for those doing the shooting.
dave
 

Re: Just another high school interview

Postby Guest » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:27 pm

Hello, Dave, thank you for taking the time. Again, I'm beyond grateful, as these are pretty sensitive questions. I really appreciate it.
-Meryl


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