Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
  • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
  • Unit of Service: Company M, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force (FMF); Company D, 1st Battalion and Company H, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, FMF
  • Location of Service: San Diego, California; Camp Pendleton, California; El Toro, California; Okinawa, Japan; Vietnam
  • Highest Rank: Corporal

View full service history

“There's nothing glamorous about it…there's no heroes. There's just scared boys with tough sergeants spurring them on.” (audio interview, 56:48)

Oscar James Gary enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1964, thinking it would be a great adventure, and early in his deployment to Vietnam, he described himself as “gung ho, like John Wayne.” But his combat experiences and news of riots in the United States made him rethink his role in a conflict so far from home. Though his service left him with PTSD and questions about the utility of war, in his VHP interview he expresses no regrets, saying, “I didn't even have to go. But I'm kinda glad I did.”

Oscar James Gary Collection
Interview / Recording

Transcript: XML

About this Item

Title

  • Oscar James Gary Collection

Names

  • Gary, Oscar James
  • Lugar, Richard
  • Graves, Alex
  • U.S. Senate/Richard Lugar

State of Birth

  • OR

Home State

  • WA

Headings

  • -  Gary, Oscar James
  • -  Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Marine Corps.

Repository

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

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975

    • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
    • Unit of Service: Company M, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force (FMF); Company D, 1st Battalion and Company H, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, FMF
    • Location of Service: San Diego, California; Camp Pendleton, California; El Toro, California; Okinawa, Japan; Vietnam
    • Highest Rank: Corporal
    • Dates of Service: 1964-1967
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Audio: Audio Cassette [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 10/28/2007)
  • Manuscript: Military papers (orders, personnel/201 files, etc) [5 items] -- Typewritten document (collected 1964 - 1970)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 2007)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/58626

Cite as

  • Oscar James Gary Collection (AFC/2001/001/58626), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • audio
  • online text

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:

Gary, Oscar James, Richard Lugar, Alex Graves, and U.S. Senate/Richard Lugar. Oscar James Gary Collection. 1964. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.58626/.

APA citation style:

Gary, O. J., Lugar, R., Graves, A. & U.S. Senate/Richard Lugar. (1964) Oscar James Gary Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.58626/.

MLA citation style:

Gary, Oscar James, et al. Oscar James Gary Collection. 1964. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.58626/>.