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Sixties Project
Personal Narratives

The following narrative was submitted on 15 October, 1996, by Tim Geoghegan, who was born in 1961. If you'd like to contribute a narrative, please fill out our form. If your browser doesn't handle forms, just write us an email. For permission to reprint narratives, please contact Viet Nam Generation, Inc.

I was born in 1961. I grew up in a working class neighborhood in New York City. The Vietnam war was a sort of mythical event -- "The War" -- looming in the background of my childhood.

I remember many "coming home" parties for vets, including the most important to me, my Uncle Red's return from Khe Sahn. Red enlisted in the USMC in 1967 as a healthy teenager. It was the thing to do. He came back with a severe head wound from defending a hill that his commanders abandoned as soon as the siege was lifted. That was called "strategy."

I remember thinking that Vietnam was like World War II -- all tanks and street fighting. I couldn't wait to grow up so that I too could go and fight the enemy. I had no idea who the enemy was.

My Uncle Red would take walks with me and help me study. Once he took me to an Army-Navy store in Astoria and bought me a green beret. I loved that hat.

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