Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Unit of Service: 25th Infantry Division
  • Location of Service: Vietnam
  • Highest Rank: Specialist

View full service history

"I said, ‘Well, I can feel it.’ And he said, ‘Why don’t you look?’ And I looked and I said, ‘Nope, it’s not there.’ And he said, ‘That’s what they call phantom pains.’" (Video Interview, 28:49)

James Mayer graduated from college in his native Missouri in 1968 and decided to enlist in the Army before he would inevitably be drafted. He received orders for Vietnam in January 1969 as part of the 25th Infantry Division. He was confident he’d escape without injury—until a man 15 feet away from him died in a firefight. Two months into his tour, he stepped on a land mine. In such shock that he felt no initial pain, he could see how badly mangled his legs were. Both were amputated below the knee. Mayer praises the medical treatment he received during his long recovery. Early on, he told a nurse he was so happy just to survive that he was going to throw an Alive Day Party every April 25th, the day he was injured. Mayer came home to become an advocate for veterans, working for both the VA and the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

About this Item

Title

  • James M. Mayer Collection

Names

  • Department of Veterans Affairs, Public & Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Winchester, Brad
  • Mayer, James M.
  • McDowell, Ivonne

State of Birth

  • MO

Home State

  • MD

Headings

  • -  Mayer, James M.
  • -  Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Form

  • DVCAM

Extent

  • 1 item

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Unit of Service: 25th Infantry Division
    • Location of Service: Vietnam
    • Highest Rank: Specialist
    • Dates of Service: 1968-1970
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Video: DVCAM [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected unknown)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/19266

Cite as

  • James M. Mayer Collection (AFC/2001/001/19266), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Department Of Veterans Affairs, Public & Intergovernmental Affairs, Brad Winchester, James M Mayer, and Ivonne McDowell. James M. Mayer Collection. 1968. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.19266/.

APA citation style:

Department Of Veterans Affairs, P. &. I. A., Winchester, B., Mayer, J. M. & McDowell, I. (1968) James M. Mayer Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.19266/.

MLA citation style:

Department Of Veterans Affairs, Public & Intergovernmental Affairs, et al. James M. Mayer Collection. 1968. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.19266/>.