In Country: Stories from the Vietnam War

Each of the 2.7 million Americans who served “in country” during the Vietnam War had a unique experience, shaped by a vast array of factors—perhaps especially the place or places in which they served. To an outsider, Vietnam might conjure up a mental image of verdant rice paddies or dense and humid jungle terrain. As Veterans History Project collections make clear, during the war, members of the military found themselves in a wide variety of different regions and venues throughout Vietnam, from bustling cities to the surgical wards of evacuation hospitals and even inside the walls of enemy prisons.

With this online presentation, we have gathered stories from 16 veterans who served in country, who were dispatched to locations ranging from Saigon to Khe Sanh, from the waters off the coast of Vietnam to the skies above it. Many of these veterans recall the visceral experience of the places in which they spent their tours of duty, vividly recalling the sights, sounds, and smells of Vietnam a half-century after coming home. Here, we explore their stories of service, offered in their own voices, and the places in Vietnam that they can’t forget.

View the blog post related to this online presentation.