Serving: Our Voices
Serving in the military is an experience unique to each veteran. Our mission at the Veterans History Project (VHP) is to collect, preserve, and make accessible these stories of service for future generations. Whether these narratives take the form of oral history interviews or original manuscript and photograph materials, they are a treasure trove of individual feelings, personal recollections, and primary source materials representing the voices of those who took an oath to serve our nation.
Serving: Our Voices is a series of online presentations designed to highlight VHP collections centered on a particular theme. Since 2003, we have curated these exhibits to illuminate the broad spectrum of experiences, topics, and materials contained within the archive. Organized by topic and conflict, Serving: Our Voices offers a glimpse into the infinite research possibilities that our collections contain. Here, we serve collections that open our eyes and our hearts, that surprise and confound us, and that complicate and expand typical narratives of service.
Use the navigation menu to the left to dive into the dozens of online presentations that we currently offer. Return frequently, as this list is ever growing. Other resources for discovery are available via the Explore the Collections section of our website.
Please join our effort by contributing a veteran’s collection to the Veterans History Project. Each contribution makes our collection all the richer for researchers and future generations. Learn how you can participate in the Veterans History Project.
Each of the 2.7 million Americans who served “in country” during the Vietnam War had a unique experience, shaped by a vast array of factors—perhaps especially the place or places in which they served. To an outsider, Vietnam might conjure up a mental image of verdant rice paddies or dense and humid jungle terrain. As Veterans History Project collections make clear, during the war, members of the military found themselves in a wide variety of different regions and venues throughout Vietnam, from bustling cities to the surgical wards of evacuation hospitals and even inside the walls of enemy prisons.
With this online presentation, we have gathered stories from 16 veterans who served in country, who were dispatched to locations ranging from Saigon to Khe Sanh, from the waters off the coast of Vietnam to the skies above it. Many of these veterans recall the visceral experience of the places in which they spent their tours of duty, vividly recalling the sights, sounds, and smells of Vietnam a half-century after coming home. Here, we explore their stories of service, offered in their own voices, and the places in Vietnam that they can’t forget.