A showcase of our most treasured collections selected by VHP staff members. The written descriptions of these veterans’ stories highlight the diversity and dramatic content of our holdings. View additional staff favorites.
to James A. Sawvell's Collection
James Sawvell enlisted in the Army to get out of going to Vietnam.
His recruiter promised him Germany; his orders said Germany. The
needs of the Army, however, called him to Vietnam, where he met
his new unit, wounded and bloodied after just being ambushed by
the North Vietnamese Army. Sawvell took his duties as sergeant head
on. Even after partially losing his hearing when he drove his tank
over two land mines, he was eager for more action. Sawvell joined
an ambush team as a platoon sergeant, going on mission after dangerous
mission, many times skirting death. Not once did he lose a soldier
under him. And when his tour in Vietnam was up, he tried to extend
six months in Saigon but was turned down due to his hearing loss.
Sawvell returned to the States, making the tough transition from
life in the jungle to having a McDonald’s down the street.
He felt the effects of his wartime experiences but he would not
let them consume him.
Chosen by Stephanie A. Weaver, Processing Technician. Stephanie
received her B.A. degree in History from the University of Dayton
and her M.A. degree in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester.
She came to the Veterans History Project in November 2005.
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