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"I looked at everything differently [after that] because that was the first time I had ever seen a person die. That’s what changed me." (Video interview, 16:19)

   Tedosio Louis Samora
Collection image
Tedosio Samora [2003]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Unit: 519th Military Intelligence Battalion
Service Location: North Carolina; Saigon, Vietnam
Rank: E-5
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As part of a Mexican-American family with a strong tradition of military service, Tedosio Samora felt an obligation to volunteer for the Army. Enlisting in 1965, he expected to serve stateside in an administrative capacity--but instead was assigned to a military intelligence battalion working out of Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon. While he enjoyed the landscape and people of Vietnam, the omnipresent violence of life in a war zone--and the violent attitudes of his fellow servicemen--pushed him toward drug and alcohol addiction. Years later, he found solace in returning to Vietnam as a civilian.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (54 min.)
More like this
»Vietnam War: Looking Back, Part 3
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Reaction of his family to his enlistment; memories of basic training. (02:60) First impressions of Vietnam; day-to-day life working on military intelligence; incident in which a bus he was riding in hit a Vietnamese civilian. (08:44) Problems that he and his three brothers had upon returning from Vietnam; disagreements; alcohol and drug abuse; going to Alcoholics Anonymous; coming out to his brothers. (06:37)
Returning to Vietnam as a civilian; seeing some of the same locations in which he served; realizing that the war had ended for the Vietnamese; effects of service on his life. (10:01)  

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