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"I almost said my Hail Marys and last rites right there." (Video interview, 39:54)

   Santos Rosas
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Santos Rosas [2004]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Unit: 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
Service Location: Vietnam
Rank: Specialist Four
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Drafted into the Army in 1969 at the age of 18, Santos Rosas was sent to Vietnam and assigned to a patrol unit based out of Pleiku. Endless patrols in the jungles offered no shortage of gut-wrenching experiences: losing close friends and sustaining injuries himself. The trials of Vietnam didn't end with his homecoming: He suffered rashes from exposure to Agent Orange and had trouble readjusting to the confines of his close-knit family. Throughout it all, though, he maintained an upbeat attitude and an appreciation for the small pleasures of everyday life.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (59 min.)
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»Hispanics in Service
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Telling his parents he was going to Vietnam, one of the hardest things he's ever had to do; emotional journey to basic training. (02:10) Flying into Pleiku; bonding with two other comrades he flew in with; conditions in the field; counting his blessings every day. (03:07) Experience of going on patrol; being alert for booby traps; cutting their own trails; what he carried; carrying his personal effects in his ammo box. (04:51)
Injured while on patrol; falling into a booby trap and pierced through the knee by a sharpened stick; recuperation. (03:48) Coming home after eleven months and seven days in Vietnam; trying to buy a beer at a bar with his brother, but not old enough; reunion with his family was one of the greatest moments of his life. (03:05) Close calls; seeking solace from the military chaplain who was posted to his unit. (00:46)

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  October 26, 2011
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