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Interview with Charles E. Adams [5/15/2010]

Brittany Montour:

Good afternoon. Today is May 15, 2010. My name is Brittany Montour; and I am conducting an Old History Interview at Clark State, Greene Center, in Beavercreek, Ohio, with Chuck Adams. Were you drifted (sic) or did you enlist?

Charles E. Adams:

Drafted.

Brittany Montour:

Where were you living at the time?

Charles E. Adams:

Springfield, Ohio.

Brittany Montour:

Why did you join the war?

Charles E. Adams:

Wasn't like I had a lot of choice. You know, I mean, the only choices you had back then were go or take off and go somewhere else.

Brittany Montour:

Why did you pick the service branch you joined?

Charles E. Adams:

Actually, I was drafted into that service; and -- but, I think, I probably had an opportunity to either go in the Army or go in the Marine Corps; and, you know, I knew where I was going to go. So I felt that I probably had the best training in the Marine Corps.

Brittany Montour:

Do you recall your first days in the service?

Charles E. Adams:

Absolutely.

Brittany Montour:

What did it feel like? Or was it emotional?

Charles E. Adams:

Oh, yeah. You know, you're a kid. You're away from home. You -- you got people screaming at you all the time. I've -- I've got several cute stories, but they don't -- I don't know if they're important or not. Yeah, I'll tell you. Day one. Day one we get to -- we couldn't fly into San Diego because it was fogged in. This was back in 1969. So they flew us to Los Angeles; and we got into Los Angeles probably, oh, I don't know, 1:30 in the morning. And here's this guy, in these starched utility trousers, wearing one of those Smoky-the-Bear hats and just a white T-shirt, and he's screaming. I mean, you know, in Dayton, Ohio, when we left, you know, at 1:30 in the morning, there's nothing. It's a ghost town; but yeah, there's still a lot of people running around. So we -- he's screaming and kicking everybody in the butt and putting them on this bus, and four or five of them got on. First thing they did was light up a cigarette because it’s, you know, acceptable; and he's going down there slapping cigarettes out of everybody's mouth, and that was not very pleasant. So we had to sit at attention from Los Angeles all the way to San Diego, and that's welcome. We got there, let's just say, about 3:30 in the morning; and we had to stand on these yellow footprints all night long. And next morning our drill instructor picks us up, and he takes us and gets our hair cut, and gets us uniforms, and throws stuff into our gunny sacks or duffel bags as fast as you can. And you're carrying your mattress and everything you own for the next, you know, 12 weeks. And we get down there to our -- we lived in these Quonset huts, like these steel buildings. And our drill instructor showed us one time how we were going to lay out our racks, make our racks up. I can still do it exactly the way he showed us 40-some years later. He showed us how to lay out our footlocker. I probably could never do that. After we got done there, in our little Quonset huts, there was a great big Quonset hut in the middle of all these little Quonset huts; and that was the head or the bathroom, and there were sinks lined up back-to-back with mirrors down the middle and urinals on this wall and toilets on this wall. And this drill instructor takes us in there, and he said, Girls -- I'll clean this up a little bit -- this is the basin. You stand here. You shave here. You brush your grimy little teeth here. It'll be cleaned every day. Well, I knew that was coming somewhere. Then he takes us over to the urinals. Girls, this is the pisser. You stand here. You piss here. It'll be cleaned every day. Got it. Heard him the first time. With that, he takes us all the way around these mirrors and basins and over to where the toilets are. This is where it gets a little -- Girls, this is the shitter. You sit here. You shit here. It'll be cleaned every day. And with that, he reaches his hand down in the water and come up with a big handful of water. [Slurping.] It will be cleaned every day. Well, I'm thinking, I already made a mistake. I don't need to be here. That was Day one, probably before 11 o'clock in the morning. So that's one of the early impressions of the Marine Corps.

Brittany Montour:

Can you talk about your boot camp training experiences?

Charles E. Adams:

It's horrible. You know, it was good. I'm telling you what. And I will say this until I die -- my son joined the Marine Corps. I tried to talk him out of it. I said, Get somewhere where you can learn something. He went to Iraq two times. And he said, No, Dad. I've decided I want to be a Marine. So he goes in the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps is an absolute unique fraternity, and the Marine Corps is a unique fraternity basically because of the Marine Corps basic training. You -- you quit being a little boy, and you become a man when you get done with Marine Corps basic training. And that -- I don't think you'll ever find a Marine in the world who will tell you anything different. And when they say, Once a Marine, Always a Marine, that's absolutely the truth. Back in those days, they could beat you up; and they didn't waste their time with anybody. They -- everybody got their butts kicked at least once; and I mean pounded in the face with fists and everything, that they're not allowed to do anymore. It was -- it was allowed back then. I mean, it wasn't allowed; but it still got done, and everybody in the platoon got it at least once. The bad guys got it more than once.

Brittany Montour:

Do you remember any of your instructors?

Charles E. Adams:

Oh, yeah. Yeah. I can remember names. Sloan, Fischer, Brett were the -- were our three. Sloan was a staff sergeant. He was our platoon commander, and the other two were just drill instructors. One was a sergeant, E-5, and got his E-6 before we left. The other was already an E-6.

Brittany Montour:

How were you manage -- how did you manage to get through it all?

Charles E. Adams:

You just did. You persevered, you know. I mean, you don't -- what are you going -- you're not going to quit. You know, you just -- you do it.

Brittany Montour:

Which war did you serve in?

Charles E. Adams:

Vietnam.

Brittany Montour:

Where exactly did you go?

Charles E. Adams:

Well, you know, we were all over. You really didn't go anywhere. We were -- our regimental rear was a place called An Hoa, that's A-N-H-O-A; but we didn't spend any time there, but that's where our regimental rear was. Our battalion rear was a place called Hill 65, and you didn't spend any time there. We were out in the bushes, you know, mostly all the time. And you really didn't want to go back to those places because when you went back to those places, you were almost treated like second-class citizens. They -- they didn't like the infantry or grunts so much. They -- there didn't seem like they did. You got the junk jobs of, you know, stringing wire and standing lines at night. Well, it was nice because you had beds -- kind of beds. You had cots back there that you could sleep on. You weren't sleeping on the ground. And they had a chow hall, in most cases, where you could get some hot chow or at least a baloney sandwich; and you weren't eating C-Rations. But it still was almost better just to stay out in the bush. You know, you could be -- they didn't -- it wasn't quite as regimented.

Brittany Montour:

Do you remember arriving and what it was like to arrive?

Charles E. Adams:

In Vietnam?

Brittany Montour:

(Nodding.)

Charles E. Adams:

Yeah. We flew in on commercial airlines. Surprised me. I'm thinking, you know, because you don't know. You know, you -- you -- you stop and think, we're from Dayton, Ohio; Springfield, Ohio. We're hayseeds. We don't realize we're going into a country that has not changed for 2,000 years. They're still farming with water buffalos and sticks and growing rice and living in grass houses, and you can't believe that. You know, you're used to buildings like this. Even back in the '60s, that people still lived that way, was really a shock factor. So we flew in on commercial airlines. They weren't going to give me a rifle. You know, we've trained for six months now, knowing that we're coming over here, know what we're going to face -- or at least having them tell us what we're going to face -- and then you're landing in Da Nang; and you still don't have a rifle. It's pouring down rain. You know, that was -- that was pretty worrisome. For me, anyway, you know. I'm thinking -- you know, because I'm thinking they are just going to try to kill you right off the bat; but it didn't turn out that way. It was a pretty -- pretty secure area back in those days. Rockets and things you'd get, but we didn't take any small-arms fire.

Brittany Montour:

What was your specific job?

Charles E. Adams:

I was a rifleman. A grunt, they called it. Infantry.

Brittany Montour:

Did you see combat?

Charles E. Adams:

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Brittany Montour:

Were there many casualties in your unit?

Charles E. Adams:

Tons of 'em. Our unit was -- when I finally got out with our company, when they could do the ranks slowdown -- where they could get me out -- the company was out in the bush somewhere, we were -- I think a TO-strength company was 250-some men; and I think our company was, at that time down to, you know -- I don't know, 100 or less, for sure. So that was scary. It's still pouring down rain. You know, what am I doing here? You know, you just -- you sleep at night, and mosquitoes are buzzing around your ears to try and stay out of the rain, and you wake up in a puddle of water that deep. (Indicating.) It's -- you know -- again, you adapt. You get used to it. After a while, that's just part of the way things are. I mean, I don't imagine it's any better in the desert where it's -- it's screaming hot all day long and then cold at night. So -- and World War II was terrible with the snow. And, you know, yeah, it's just -- you -- like any other young guy, you just adapt. Everybody else is going through the same things you are.

Brittany Montour:

So you didn't sleep under, like, a roof? Or were you out --

Charles E. Adams:

No roofs. No. No, we didn't have roofs. We had ponchos. Sometimes we'd -- if we were set in a somewhat secure position or at least a nice perimeter that we were guarding, then we would -- if it was pouring down rain, we'd snap ponchos together and make kind of a make-shift tent; but it didn't really keep much of the water out. It was still kind of wet, but it was better than nothing.

Brittany Montour:

Can you talk about kind of a couple of your most memorable experiences?

Charles E. Adams:

I mean, no. I mean, I don't know what -- you know, just seemed like everyday you were just badgered all together. And if things were going good, and you didn't hit the, as we called it, hit the shit that night, those things were memorable. I mean, you know, you saw people get killed. You know, you -- honestly, thank God it wasn't you. It was them. You know, you didn't -- didn't make a lot of strong alliances, I don't think. You maybe had a couple of buddies, and that was it. You weren't real close to everybody. Most of the memorable experiences I had turned out -- I mean, they were great experiences. I got malaria. Went to an Army hospital that had four movies every night and had USO show every three days. I mean, that was a memorable experience. And you were safe. And, of course, you know, when you get to go home, that's the most memorable experience of it all.

Brittany Montour:

Did you go home often?

Charles E. Adams:

After your tour's up. I did get to meet my wife. I was married at the time, so I got to meet her in Hawaii for a week on R & R. That was a great experience.

Brittany Montour:

Were you a prisoner of war?

Charles E. Adams:

No.

Brittany Montour:

Can you talk about your experiences in captivity and when you were freed?

Charles E. Adams:

Well, I wasn't a prisoner of war so I didn't have any experiences in captivity.

Brittany Montour:

Were you awarded any medals or citations?

Charles E. Adams:

Well, just the standard. The Vietnam Service, the Vietnam Campaign, the National Defense Service ribbon, the Combat Action ribbon. There were probably a couple more. I don't remember now. But nothing, you know, nothing like the Bronze Star or anything.

Brittany Montour:

How did you stay in touch with your family?

Charles E. Adams:

Letters back then. Once in a great while, you could make a Ham Radio telephone call where you would be on the radio with a Ham Radio operator. So you would transmit your voice to him and then say over, and he would transmit what you said then on to your family or whoever you were talking to on the other end. Short time span. Didn't have a lot of time to talk, and just -- but made mostly by letter. We used to send some cassette tapes back and forth once in a while.

Brittany Montour:

How often were you able to communicate?

Charles E. Adams:

Every time you got the chance to write a letter -- you could start a letter one day and maybe not finish it for two weeks. But you know, of course, mail call didn't come, like -- it wasn't like the mail service runs every day. Just wherever they'd come. Sometimes every week. Sometimes every other week. Sometimes once a month. You never -- never knew when it was going to come.

Brittany Montour:

What were you fed? What was the food like?

Charles E. Adams:

We ate a lot of C-Rations. C-Rations or canned. Beef and potatoes. Beans and weenies and spaghetti. Ham and eggs. It was not very good, but again you grew to like them --

Brittany Montour:

Did they feed you --

Charles E. Adams:

-- after a while.

Brittany Montour:

Did they feed you three times a day?

Charles E. Adams:

No, you got two -- two meals a day.

Brittany Montour:

Did you have plenty of supplies?

Charles E. Adams:

I think for the most part. You kind of learned to take care of yourself. You know, you always carried more ammunition than you ever would need. You -- so we got low on chow a few times that they couldn't get it out to us because of whatever. But, yeah, for the most part, I think we were supplied pretty well.

Brittany Montour:

Did you feel a lot of stress or pressure?

Charles E. Adams:

Well, yeah. Of course, you know. People trying to kill 'ya. A lot of stress there.

Brittany Montour:

Was there anything special that you used for good luck?

Charles E. Adams:

You know, my dad in World War II, had a Bible his mother sent to him. It had a brass shield on the front of it. He carried it in his pocket. My mother gave me that when I went to Vietnam, and I gave it to my son when he went to Iraq. So I guess that was a good luck charm. So, you know?

Brittany Montour:

Did you guys have any entertainment?

Charles E. Adams:

Not so you'd notice, no. We didn't ever see a USO show. Or like I said earlier, when I went to that Army hospital, I got to see movies. No entertainment. I mean, we were in the bush most of the time.

Brittany Montour:

What did you do when you were on leave?

Charles E. Adams:

Well, I went to Hawaii and met my wife; and you do what every husband and wife do. You know, you just -- and that was fun. That was great. Great time. First time we were in Hawaii. Spent a lot of money. Ate good food. You know, that type of stuff.

Brittany Montour:

Did you travel a lot in the service?

Charles E. Adams:

Vietnam and home.

Brittany Montour:

Do you recall any unusual events?

Charles E. Adams:

Got a for instance?

Brittany Montour:

Anything funny? Or serious? Scary?

Charles E. Adams:

No. No. Nothing funny, I don't think. I think you enjoyed some of the guys, and you kind of laugh and yuck it up a bit; but nothing unusual or, you know, great.

Brittany Montour:

Do you have any photographs of memory?

Charles E. Adams:

Oh, I've got a lot of photographs. Yeah.

Brittany Montour:

What did you -- what did you think of officers -- of the officers or fellow soldiers?

Charles E. Adams:

I think, typically, most of your enlisted men didn't care much for the officers. Being the age I am now, I understand they had a job to do; and some of them weren't very good people-people, so they didn't know how to relate to the troops. You know, you're -- it was a real tough time. You've got to know that because that war was very unpopular back here at home; and by being a part of it, you weren't very popular with people back here at home either. For instance, I just -- my heart goes out -- I'm so -- I just almost get a tear in my eye when I see these Vietnam -- or the Iraqi veterans and Desert Storm veterans coming home, and they get a police escort down the highway, and there are busses coming back from the airport, and bands playing, and people congratulating them saying, Thank you very much. And that's the most wonderful thing in the world. We got none of that. None of it. So you're a young kid, and you got this officer somewhat bitching at you. They weren't so bad because -- you know, back in those days, I guess, there was a lot of officers that got killed with a stray bullet in a firefight, you know, and just -- so they weren't -- I think a lot of them really weren't as bad they could have been, not like they would have been probably back in the -- World War II or Korea even; but, I guess, for the most part, you didn't care much for the officers. Staff NCOs were okay, I think.

Brittany Montour:

Did you keep a personal diary?

Charles E. Adams:

Pardon me?

Brittany Montour:

Did you keep a personal diary?

Charles E. Adams:

No. No.

Brittany Montour:

Was there a lot of emotions or did people just suck stuff up?

Charles E. Adams:

Explain. What did you say again?

Brittany Montour:

Were there a lot of, like, emotions shown?

Charles E. Adams:

Oh, sure.

Brittany Montour:

Do you recall the day your service ended?

Charles E. Adams:

Probably not the day my service ended, but I do -- I recall the era. Well, when I came back home and spent a week in Okinawa, spent a week in San Diego, and then I'm out on the street. There's -- there's no -- no rehab. No nothing. You know, you've been over there, you know, for a year, getting shot at and shooting at people; and then in two short weeks, you're out on the street. You know, you're just -- it's kind of another culture shock. Just like when you first get over there and see those guys farming like they did 2,000 years ago. It's a culture shock.

Brittany Montour:

Where did you go home to?

Charles E. Adams:

Springfield, Ohio.

Brittany Montour:

What did you do in the days when you came home? What did you do after the war?

Charles E. Adams:

Well, I got a job and went to work.

Brittany Montour:

Was your education supported by the GI Bill?

Charles E. Adams:

I did not further my education. I took a couple of classes. I didn't -- I didn't take advantage of it.

Brittany Montour:

Did you make any close friendships while in the service?

Charles E. Adams:

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Still have -- still have friends I see or talk to quite often. Local. You know, around the Springfield area. The guys I went in -- a couple of the guys I went in with I still see. I go to my company reunion whenever I get the opportunity. This year it's in St. Louis. We're probably going to go there.

Brittany Montour:

Did you join any Veteran’s organization?

Charles E. Adams:

I did. I'm member of the VFW, of course. Past Commander. I'm a member -- life member of the AMVETS. The DAV, which is Disabled American Veterans. That's it. No American Legions. Just those three.

Brittany Montour:

What did you do -- what did you go on to do as a career after the war?

Charles E. Adams:

I got in the electrical wholesaling business, and that's pretty much what I've done until the present time. And now, I don't do anything.

Brittany Montour:

Did your military experience influence your thinking about war?

Charles E. Adams:

Yeah. You know, I was a child in the '60s. I mean, my formative years as far as high school and so on, were through the mid- and late-‘60s. I think all kids that age are pretty liberal. So probably nobody believed in the war back then; but you -- you think, you know, your father went. You know, this is the right thing. We don't take off and go to Canada. You know. This is your duty. It's your job. So you do it. I don't know that I was ever in favor of the war. I've become much more of a hawk since then because I saw how we ran that war. I disagreed with it. I think we were never intended to win that war. I think the best thing you can do is keep politicians out of the war. Let the warriors run the war, and that's the only way you can win. We pulled the same bonehead mistake in Korea that we did in Vietnam. I think we finally got into the first Desert Shield or whatever, we started letting the military leaders take the lead; and you know, in a week or two weeks, it's all over with. We got the job done. Not completely, because if we did, we still wouldn't be there today. But I still think we have too many political people involved.

Brittany Montour:

And in your veterans’ organizations, what kinds of activities do you do?

Charles E. Adams:

Our veterans’ organizations? We give thousands of dollars away every month to charities. Local charities. We select charities and support the charities. We support the communities that we're in. Every -- I mean, this -- our particular VFW post is just the greatest post and great example of that.

Charles E. Adams:

Am I short on time? (Jane Cape entering the conversation.)

Jane Cape:

Keep going. Keep going. No. No. No.

Charles E. Adams:

Ok.

Jane Cape:

Keep going.

Brittany Montour:

Did you attend any reunions?

Charles E. Adams:

I do. I go back every chance I get. I go -- our company, my - Lima 3/5 has a reunion. It's not like a battalion or a regimental or divisionary reunion. I don't go to any of those. Just our company, during the Vietnam years. I go to that one whenever I get the opportunity, which is -- I try to get there at least every other year.

Brittany Montour:

How has your service and experiences affect your life afterwards?

Charles E. Adams:

Oh, I think, early on, there was some bitter -- I think there were some -- some problems, some hang-ups, maybe a little bit. I think my military experience in the Marine Corps has helped me in my career because I think it does teach you discipline. I think that it teaches you just to get the job done. It's been -- I think it was good. I think it's for -- every young person should have to go into the military and spend at least a couple of years.

Brittany Montour:

Is there anything you would like to add that we have not covered?

Charles E. Adams:

The only thing I would say is because I get interviewed from high school kids as part of their government classes. They have to interview Vietnam veterans and talk about that when they are studying that particular thing. That it's -- it's a terrible thing. You know, if you could ever have the opportunity to not go, don't go. If you have the opportunity and you have to go, go. Serve your country well. You're going to hear a lot of these blowhards here talk about all their great experiences and stuff in the war; and I think what you're going to find, the guys who talk the most are guys who probably didn't do anything at all. And any guy that ever said he wasn't scared the whole time he was there is a liar or nuts. One or the other. It's -- it's not great. I feel good about doing it. I encouraged my son. If he wanted to go in the service that by all means, go in the service; but go in the regular service where you're going to learn something. I don't feel that you learn anything in the Marine Corps except infantry and that type of thing. Not that that's bad, which is exactly what happened to him. He's got a very, very good job. He's a very bright kid. He's up in the organization. He's got a college degree. He's done very well. But there's nothing pretty about it. That would be the only thing I would add to it. It's -- it's a good experience. I'm glad I did it. Don't think I'm going to do it again.

Brittany Montour:

Were you ever shot at?

Charles E. Adams:

Oh, yeah. God, yeah. A lot. I got hit in the leg one time with shrapnel from friendly artillery. You know, other than bumps and bruises and, you know, that type of thing, that was the worst that happened to me.

Brittany Montour:

Did you know you wanted to go into the Marines right away, or did you ever look into the Army?

Charles E. Adams:

Yeah, I think when I was younger, I thought the Marines was cool. That was glory. You know, those guys were great and tough. Then when I got drafted, I was glad that the Marine Corps was there, and I'm glad I went into the Marine Corps. Like I said, I think I got the best training. I was prepared to go to Vietnam when I got out of basic training. They were pushing us through as fast as they could back then.

Brittany Montour:

Do you have anything you would like to share or --

Charles E. Adams:

That's about it.

Brittany Montour:

All right. Well, thank you.

Charles E. Adams:

Thank you.

Jane Cape:

You'd mentioned Lima Company, is that --

Charles E. Adams:

Lima. (Pronouncing Lema.)

Brittany Montour:

-- is that --

Charles E. Adams:

Lima.

Brittany Montour:

Lima Company. Okay. Was that people primarily from --

Charles E. Adams:

No.

Brittany Montour:

-- this area? Where all were -- where were some of your --

Charles E. Adams:

All over.

Brittany Montour:

-- fellow officers --

Charles E. Adams:

Just like --

Brittany Montour:

-- or fellow combat --

Charles E. Adams:

Just like boot camp, when you come -- back in those days, everybody east of the Mississippi went west to San Diego for boot camp. Everybody west of the Mississippi went to Paris Island, South Carolina, for boot camp. That was kind of a rule of thumb. So you were mixed with people from all over the world. We had people, a lot of our people in our platoon in boot camp that were from California who didn't go to Paris Island. People from Texas, from all over the country. We didn't go to Vietnam as a unit. Kind a quasi-unit maybe, but we weren't all trained together all the time. The only thing we ever did was gather and go to staging battalion. All these people, and you don't know half of them. So they all went at the same time; but when you got there, two of you are going to this company, and two of you are going to this company, and two of you are going to go way up here or six of you or whatever. Wherever they needed people, you just kind of straggled in. So no, we were -- we were just on our own pretty much.

Brittany Montour:

You'd said earlier then that you went over on a commercial jet. You did not -- it was not like a whole bunch of troops going at the same time or anything; right?

Charles E. Adams:

Oh, yeah. Everybody on that jet --

Brittany Montour:

Oh, okay.

Charles E. Adams:

-- was going to Vietnam.

Brittany Montour:

Okay. But I mean, so it was all made up of all military people --

Charles E. Adams:

Yeah.

Brittany Montour:

-- on the --

Charles E. Adams:

Yeah. As a matter of fact, all made up of Marines. Because when we went over to -- from here, we went -- we landed in Guam. From Guam we went to Okinawa. Okinawa we went into Vietnam. So that's -- and I think there were two of us that went to my company. We weren't in the same platoon. He went to the second platoon. I went to the third platoon. That was it. And we were understaffed, and we went months without ever regaining a full TO-strength company.

Brittany Montour:

What's TO mean?

Charles E. Adams:

I don't know.

Brittany Montour:

Oh. Okay.

Charles E. Adams:

They call it TO, which meant full strength, I guess. You know, that's how many men you're supposed to have technically. You're supposed to have this many men in the company.

Brittany Montour:

Now, do you have siblings?

Charles E. Adams:

Yeah.

Brittany Montour:

Were any of them in the war then --

Charles E. Adams:

I have a twin brother who was in the Air Force; and he was over in Okinawa and Taiwan the same time I was in Vietnam, flight support, working, you know, in direct support of the war. He's here today, in fact.

Brittany Montour:

Good. Good. The women, were they primarily nurses? Or what? How many women--

Charles E. Adams:

The only women I saw besides Vietnamese women were when I went to the Army hospital. I never saw any nurses or anything like that in our area.

Brittany Montour:

Okay.

Charles E. Adams:

So there was just none.

Brittany Montour:

Did you have any church ceremonies or anything on a Sunday?

Charles E. Adams:

Not very often. But once in a while, a chaplain would come out. Not very often.

Jane Cape:

What would have been the highest-ranking person, like, with your group when you were out in the bush and that type of thing or --

Charles E. Adams:

Captain.

Brittany Montour:

Captain. And then roughly, how people would have been, men would have been in the --

Charles E. Adams:

Well, he would be the company commander.

Brittany Montour:

Okay.

Charles E. Adams:

So if it was a TO-strength company, it was 250-some men.

Brittany Montour:

Okay.

Charles E. Adams:

The next step down would have been probably a first lieutenant. Maybe a second lieutenant. It would have been a platoon commander. So he would be, you know, in charge of 60 men. Roughly. I don't remember. I don't know what a TO-strength platoon was. And then, of course, your staff NCOs. Gunnery sergeant, who is the company NCO basically, in the bush. And staff sergeants and sergeants would be, you know, platoon commander. Platoon sergeants and squad leaders and so on, most of those guys were probably corporals. Corporals and sergeants were squad leaders.

Brittany Montour:

Did you know anyone else from Springfield that went with you?

Charles E. Adams:

Not that went with me, but went over at the same time I was. Two of the guys I went in with were over at the same time I was. Actually from induction right on through.

Brittany Montour:

Did they make it through?

Charles E. Adams:

Yeah. Yeah.

Jane Cape:

Now, where you part of the lottery? Or were you before or after they started the lottery?

Charles E. Adams:

Before.

Brittany Montour:

You were before the lottery.

Charles E. Adams:

Yeah, the only way to get out of it back then was to be a doctor's son or a judge's son or something like that. And as you know -- I don't know if you know this or not, but back in those day, exactly when I left, Time Magazine did a study and declared Draft Board 13 of Springfield, Ohio, the most corrupt draft board in the world.

Brittany Montour:

I'd never heard that.

Charles E. Adams:

Yeah, it's -- it's fact. So, you know, if you knew somebody, you could get out.

Brittany Montour:

Okay. What year -- what year did you go to Vietnam then?

Charles E. Adams:

1969.

Brittany Montour:

1969.

Charles E. Adams:

Uh-huh.

Brittany Montour:

Okay. Anything else?

Charles E. Adams:

That it?

Brittany Montour:

Yes. Thank you.

Jane Cape:

Thank you.

Charles E. Adams:

Thank you.

 
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  October 26, 2011
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