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"Coming back was not what I thought soldiers coming back from the war would receive." (Audio interview, 30:08)

   William E. Washington
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War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Service Location: Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Lewis, Washington; Bainbridge Island, Washington; Greenland; Germany; Dong Ha, Khe Sanh, Fubi, Vietnam; Germany; Fort Bliss, Texas
Rank: First Sergeant
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Coming of age in Baltimore in the late 1950s, William E. Washington chose to join the military over working for a local industrial company, in hopes of learning some type of profession. Instead, he made the military a career. This choice transformed him from a self-described “street-wise smart kid” to a First Sergeant in the Army. In his interview, he describes highlights of his nearly 25 years in the military, including work on a Nike Hercules crew, deployments to Greenland and Germany, and service as a battalion ammunition officer in Vietnam.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (42 min.)
More like this
»Vietnam War: Looking Back Part 4
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Attending public school in Baltimore; part of the first integrated high school class in Maryland; reasons for joining the military; did not want to work in industry in Baltimore. (01:59) Job as a crew member working on Nike Hercules missiles. (00:56) Witnessing racism in the military, but still felt it was a place of great opportunity; deployment to Vietnam; providing infusion of new troops to units already there. (04:11)
Experiences during siege of Khe Sanh; time of awakening for him in regards to the nature of the war; change of attitude. (03:48)  

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  October 26, 2011
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