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“Vietnam was… an experience that has affected my entire life.” (Video interview, 0:53).

   Vincent T. Jarrett
Collection image
Vincent Jarrett [detail from video]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Unit: 64th Finance Group
Service Location: Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana; Vietnam; Fort Sheridan, Illinois
Rank: Sergeant
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For Sergeant Vincent T. Jarrett, his time in Vietnam was everything he feared it might be. After enlisting in order to avoid the draft, he chose the role of payroll clerk in hopes of serving in a secure location. Stationed in Quang Tri and Da Nang, he often witnessed the everyday violence that defined life in a war zone. Photography offered a brief but temporary distraction from these brutalities, which, as he explains in his oral history interview, continue to haunt him.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (34 min.)
»Photo Album  (16 photos)
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»Personal Snapshots: Picturing the Vietnam War
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Trauma of experiences in Vietnam; impossible to forget his experiences there. (00:49) Vietnam was an entirely different world; taught him to appreciate the smaller things in life. (01:17) Difficulty adjusting to civilian life after coming back from Vietnam; seeing the names of friends on the Wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (01:29)
Incident in which was blamed for a problem while his commanding officers were nominated for medals; situation of African Americans in Vietnam. (02:14) Coming home felt like heaven; didn’t realize extent of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) until 1994; triggering event; PTSD symptoms; hospitalized for six months. (02:50) Meeting a good friend nicknamed “Dr. Bob”; went through basic training and clerk school; were in Vietnam together; friends to this day. (01:02)

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