I enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1968. Four days after taking my last final exam at City College (CCNY) I began my military service on January 29, 1968, one day before the beginning of the Tet Offensive in South Vietnam. How’s that for timing? During training you had some sense of the war, but it was still far away. When orders came down I was given a choice of assignments in either Korea or Greenland. Greenland would have been the safer and smarter choice, but I guess that I was not that smart.
If you have been following DPI for some time you will recognize the photo “Vietnam Vets“, Brooklyn, N. Y. (1985). It is the last of the four rotating photos on our homepage. The soldier on the right with the Purple Heart and Silver Star was my very good friend Peter “Pete” Bonacchi. Pete is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, section 60. This section is in the front part of the cemetery overlooking the Potomac about halfway between the front entrance and the Pentagon.
DPI recently acquired a collection of photos which also included letters written to Len Alberici of West Babylon, N. Y. from soldiers attached to the 25th Infantry Division in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War in 1967-1968. From reading these letters it became evident that this was a close knit group of friends who one by one went off to serve their country.
The calendar says it is 2014, but for me it will forever remain 1968. In addition to the traumatic events which shaped U. S. and world events it was a lifetime compressed into a single year for me. My biography explains this in some detail.