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"Killing may be acceptable when you’re defending your house or your family, but it’s certainly not acceptable for some politician’s reasons." (Audio interview, 15:38)

   Barry L. Romo
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War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Unit: A Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 196th Light Infantry Brigade
Service Location: Fort Benning, Georgia; California; Vietnam
Rank: First Lieutenant
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Enlisting in the Army fresh out of high school, First Lieutenant Barry Romo felt a strong sense of purpose when he headed to Vietnam to serve with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. His experiences in combat quickly eroded this idealism. After a few weeks in the field, his focus had narrowed to getting his men home safely, rather than a commitment to any particular political agenda. Bearing witness to the atrocities of war led him to become a strident pacifist; upon returning from Vietnam, he participated in demonstrations against the war.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
Download: audio(1) | 
Download: audio(2) (65 min.)
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»Vietnam War: Looking Back
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Getting orders to go to Vietnam; excited and nervous; arriving in Saigon; asking to be assigned to the mountains; assigned to the 196th Light Infantry Brigade (03:08) Losing idealistic view of the mission after a few weeks in country; the first person he killed while out on patrol; feeling haunted by the casualties he caused. (06:24) Two pivotal events that changed his view of the war; trying to help a small Vietnamese child who had been burned; being rejected by the Navy hospital; response to his nephew being drafted; his nephew being killed; escorting his nephew’s body home to Oakland. (08:41)
Taking a patrol of 20 men out on a search and destroy mission; being caught in the open; ordering a charge; being given a crazy order by his commander. (07:27)  

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  October 26, 2011
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