Cantigny Park Education Center
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Soldiers’ Recollections of Vietnam and the Big Red One
When veterans, family members, and friends of Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment in the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division gathered in 2012, they came together to celebrate the publication of Dogface Charlie, their book of recollections of their personal experiences around service in Vietnam. Like that earlier book, Swamp Rats recounts what it was like to fight a tough and elusive enemy in a forbidding jungle, the loneliness of being so far from home, and their grief over comrades who were killed. This book includes new voices not present in that first book, especially from siblings, wives, and friends of these infantrymen. Swamp Rats book is not a history of the policies or military campaigns of the Vietnam War. Instead, it presents the experiences of ordinary soldiers and concentrates on what these veterans of Charlie Company remembered many years later about their time in Vietnam. Collectively these accounts underscore an oft-forgotten fact about the war—the United States sent many very good men to Vietnam and they fought very well.
This event is part of the First Division Museum’s popular series, A Date with History. The monthly programs feature an evening of lively discussion with authors, panelists, historians, and special speakers.