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"It really was good hearing from you again. Thanks for the letters. I'm in a lousy stage, not just arrived and not yet ready to come home and letters really help." (Letter to his family, 1/1969)

   Ronald E. Dzierzynski
Image of Ronald E. Dzierzynski
Ronald Dzierzynski [detail from video]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Unit: Military Intelligence
Service Location: Fort Dix, New Jersey; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Holabird, Maryland; Vietnam
Rank: First Lieutenant
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Writing to his family first from his stateside training and then from Vietnam, First Lieutenant Ronald Dzierzynski's letters home narrate his experiences as a young military intelligence officer trying hard to do his best--no matter the circumstances--and make his parents proud. While in country, he served as a Provincial Area Intelligence Representative, or PAIR, working to coordinate and train local intelligence agents. His correspondence with his family helped to see him through the highs and lows of his time in Vietnam. As he said in his oral history interview, "You lived for that day when you get the mail. Somebody said you've got mail, and it was like, it made your day. Somebody remembered you."

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (7 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (112 min.)
 Personal Correspondence
»View List (55 items)
More like this
»“Please Write Often”: Wartime Correspondence
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (7 items)
Enjoying basic training; deciding to go to Officer Candidate School; wanting to become a leader. (03:48) Plane flight to Vietnam; understanding that he was relieving a fellow soldier; realizing that death could come at any time, despite feeling relatively safe. (03:27) Posted to a base about an hour south of Saigon; serving as a Provincial Area Intelligence Representative (PAIR); putting together a training program for local intelligence agents. (01:32)
The first Christmas he ever spent away from home; receiving packages from his parents; hosting Christmas party with food that had been sent; listening to a recording of his parents singing “I’ll be home for Christmas.” (04:17) Volunteering for a mission in a hamlet; seeing people shot; surreal experience; earning Vietnamese Intelligence Medal. (-07:-02) Has no regrets about serving; becoming very political; seeing and experiencing things first-hand; becoming a pacifist. (00:52)
Thoughts during his last days in Vietnam; coming home; feeling disoriented and different; not wanting to talk to people about his experiences; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (03:45)  
  
 Personal Correspondence (55 items)
Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [9/13/1966] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [10/13/1966] Letter to Lois from Ronald Dzierzynski [10/16/1966]
Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [10/25/1966] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [11/20/1966] Letter to his sister from Ronald Dzierzynski [11/21/1966]
Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [2/2/1967] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [3/14/1967] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [2/19/1967]
Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [3/1967] Handwritten Memo to Tactical Officer, 2nd Platoon, 85th Co., Re: "Why I can't control my squad and why I show poor judgement [sic.]" [3/25/1967] Letter to his mother, from Ronald Dzierzynski [4/1/1967]
Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [5/16/1967] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [5/29/1967] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [6/19/1967]
Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [1967] Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [1967] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [1968]
Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [2/26/1968] Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [5/1968] Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [5/1968]
Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [6/1968] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [6/30/1968] Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [7/16/1968]
Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [8/2/1968] Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [8/7/1968] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [8/14/1968]
Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [8/22/1968] Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [9/30/1968] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [10/08/1968]
Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [10/11/1968] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [10/18/1968] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [10/31/1968]
Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [11/11/1968] Letter to his sister, Lois, from from Ronald Dzierzynski [12/5/1968] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [12/5/1968]
Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [12/1968] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [12/1968] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [12/26/1968]
Letter to Lois and Ed from Ronald Dzierzynski [12/1968] Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [12/17/1968] Letter to his mother from Ronald Dzierzynski [1/15/1969]
Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [1/1969] Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [5/30/1969] Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [4/1/1969]
Letter to his Dad from Ronald Dzierzynski [1969] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [1969] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [5/19/1969]
Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [4/18/1969] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [4/30/1969] Letter to his parents from Ronald Dzierzynski [3/16/1969]
Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [3/7/1969] Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [3/26/1969] Letter to his Dad from Ronald Dzierzynski [1/20/1969]
Letter to his family from Ronald Dzierzynski [1/31/1969]  
  
 

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  October 26, 2011
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