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“Well, in 1965, there were two choices that you had…” (Video interview, 30:42)

   David Henryk Masuo
Collection image
David Masuo [detail from video]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Air Force
Unit: 903rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (AES)
Service Location: McChord Air Force Base, Washington; Rhein Main, Germany; Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam; Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska; Shemya Air Force Base, Alaska; Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska
Rank: Master Sergeant
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Growing up in Hawaii as part of a military family, Air Force Master Sergeant David Henryk Masuo idolized members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the highly decorated unit made up of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Enlisting in the Air Force in 1965, he promised his mother he would not volunteer to go to Vietnam, but at the end of his first tour of duty, his heart told him to accept orders for a second tour in country. A liaison at Long Binh Hospital, he saw the war’s effects up close. Despite this, he found his service experience to be deeply rewarding; returning home, he spent five years working as an Air Force recruiter.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
» Part 1 
Download: video (93 min.)
More like this
»Vietnam War: Looking Back, Part 2
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Lessons his family taught him about how to be a good person; family military history; learning about the 442nd; holding them up as heroes because they paved the way for him to serve in the military. (03:40) Convinced by his dad to join the Air Force versus the Army; entered service right before 18th birthday. (02:07) Had nearly finished up tour of duty; given choice between assignment to Vietnam and discharge; friend advised him to follow his heart; decision to go to Vietnam. (02:02)
Assigned to Long Binh Hospital as a liaison; working with Australian doctors and nurses; working at an orphanage. (03:01) Reasons for choosing to go to Vietnam; feeling responsibility to serve despite views on war; views haven’t changed since then. (02:13) 

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