Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: Cold War
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Unit of Service: Company N, 1st Advanced Individual Training (AIT) Brigade
  • Location of Service: Fort Dix, New Jersey
  • Highest Rank: Private

View full service history

"I really wanted to be a soldier, I was proud to be a soldier, but I couldn’t live with a lie." (Audio interview, 43:26).

Clifton Francis Arnesen was 17 years old when he enlisted in the Army in 1965 to escape an abusive father. Moving through basic and advanced infantry training, he found that the military life provided a sense of discipline and self-esteem--but it also required him to live a lie. When he found himself under investigation, he admitted he was gay, only to be accused of lying in order to avoid service in Vietnam. Dishonorably discharged in January 1967, he went on to become an activist for LGBT veterans, eventually becoming president of the New England Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Veterans in 1988. In 1989, he testified in front of Congress about his experiences as a bisexual veteran.

Clifton Francis Arnesen, Jr. Collection
Interview / Recording

About this Item

Title

  • Clifton Francis Arnesen, Jr. Collection

Names

  • American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER)
  • Arnesen Jr., Clifton Francis
  • Ballard, Lara
  • Estes, Steve

State of Birth

  • NJ

Home State

  • MA

Headings

  • -  Arnesen Jr., Clifton Francis
  • -  Cold War -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

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

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • Cold War

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Unit of Service: Company N, 1st Advanced Individual Training (AIT) Brigade
    • Location of Service: Fort Dix, New Jersey
    • Highest Rank: Private
    • Dates of Service: 1965-1967
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Manuscript: Memoirs [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 2005)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [2 items] -- Transcription of audio recording (collected 01/2005)
  • Audio: Audio Cassette [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 01/20/2005)
  • Video: VHS [1 item] -- Television broadcast (collected 04/04/2001)
  • Computer File: CD [1 item] -- Multiple types of electronic files (collected 2015)
  • Manuscript: Civilian papers (certificates, forms, wills, etc) [ item] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 1990 - 2001)
  • Photograph: Photocopy of photographic print [2 items] -- Photograph (collected 1959 - 1966)
  • Manuscript: Memoirs [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 01/07/2017)
  • Manuscript: Civilian papers (certificates, forms, wills, etc) [28 items] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 1948 - 1994)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Television broadcast (collected 03/15/1992)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Television broadcast (collected 1999 - 2004)
  • Artifact: Artifact [1 item] -- Other (collected unknown)
  • Computer File: Flash Drive [1 item] -- Multiple types of electronic files (collected unknown)
  • Manuscript: Book [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 1991)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Television broadcast (collected 12/07/2004)
  • Photograph: Mixed (Multiple types of photographs) [108 items] -- Photograph (collected 1967 - 2011)
  • Manuscript: Printed matter [6 items] -- Typewritten document (collected 1989 - 1999)
  • Manuscript: Military papers (orders, personnel/201 files, etc) [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 1984)
  • Manuscript: Periodicals [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 11/23/1995)
  • Computer File: Flash Drive [1 item] -- Multiple types of electronic files (collected unknown)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/44399

Cite as

  • Clifton Francis Arnesen, Jr. Collection (AFC/2001/001/44399), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • audio
  • image
  • pdf

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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:

American Veterans For Equal Rights, Clifton Francis Arnesen Jr, Lara Ballard, and Steve Estes. Clifton Francis Arnesen, Jr. Collection. 1965. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.44399/.

APA citation style:

American Veterans For Equal Rights, Arnesen Jr, C. F., Ballard, L. & Estes, S. (1965) Clifton Francis Arnesen, Jr. Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.44399/.

MLA citation style:

American Veterans For Equal Rights, et al. Clifton Francis Arnesen, Jr. Collection. 1965. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.44399/>.