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“I found out when I would go to sleep, my body is here in our world in the United States. I'm in Chicago in my bed sleeping, but my brain is over in Vietnam.” (video interview, 15:38)

   Arthur T. Baltazar
Image of Arthur T. Baltazar
Arthur Baltazar [detail from video]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Unit: 167th Signal Company, 1st Field Forces
Service Location: Pleiku, Vietnam
Rank: Specialist Four
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When Arthur T. Baltazar arrived in Vietnam in 1968, he almost immediately found himself in the middle of a rocket attack that killed three servicemen. Though he had trained as a radio relay operator, he never operated a radio in Vietnam, instead serving as a perimeter guard. When he returned home, he found that he could not forget his experiences; but with the help of a VA counselor, he eventually learned to avoid bottling up his emotions. When asked if he would do it all again, he responds, "No, I already did it."

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (58 min.)
»Transcript
  Photos
»Photo Album  (14 photos)
 Personal Correspondence
»Photocopy of a letter from Arthur Baltazar to President and Mrs. Obama [n.d.]
 Other Materials
»Account of action in Vietnam on 9/26 and 9/27/1968, signed by Leroy Seawell [3/23/2010]
More like this
»PTSD: A Lasting Impact of War
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Expectations and reality arriving in Vietnam; reactions when he arrived home; feeling that nobody cared about his service. (04:40) Being told to move on; impossible to delete memories; thanking veterans. (03:41) Arrival in Vietnam; discharged early; getting a second draft notice; rocket attack. (06:59)
Keeping in touch via mail; learning of his son’s birth from Red Cross workers; letters from a class of third graders. (04:59)  
  
 

Home » Arthur T. Baltazar
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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