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“I’m 73 years old, and every day I’m proud of the fact that I spent my time doing what I could for my country.” (Video interview, 38:03)

   Tecumseh Nathaniel Underwood
Image of Tecumseh Nathaniel Underwood
Tecumseh Underwood at time of interview
War: Cold War
Branch: Army
Unit: 592nd Signal Company; 42nd Engineer Company; Berlin Brigade
Service Location: West Berlin, Germany
Rank: Private First Class
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A Seminole Indian, Private First Class Tecumseh Nathaniel Underwood faced limited employment prospects in his home state of Oklahoma. A strong sense of patriotism drove him to follow in his father and grandfather’s footsteps and enlist in the Army. Stationed in West Berlin from 1962 to 1965, he comments in his oral history interview, “I was in the middle of the destruction of a city.”

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (57 min.)
  Photos
»Photo Album  (1 photo)
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»Cold War Dispatches: Service Stories from 1947-1991
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Entrance into the service; tradition of military service in Seminole community; first of his age group to go into the service. (09:20) Getting along with the West German civilians he encountered; absorbing German history and culture; land mines all around perimeter of city. (02:34) His service and how it connected to the war in Vietnam; receiving communications from Vietnam; applied to deploy to Vietnam but denied; buddy who was approved was killed. (04:18)
Force movement of ancestors; instilled spirit of survival in him; proud of his service every day. (01:33)  
  
 

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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