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Hilltop High reunion on plane from Bien Hoa, General Krulak in Vietnam with three sons, everybody still says Saigon

First refugees land at Camp Pendleton, Mission Beach guy runs to Sweden, Agent Orange plagues Southeast San Diego soldier

Author receiving Purple Heart from Army General Stillwell. You’re sure your leg is blown off, has to be, one arm doesn’t work your “good” hand...part of your finger missing, grab your face...nothing....
Author receiving Purple Heart from Army General Stillwell. You’re sure your leg is blown off, has to be, one arm doesn’t work your “good” hand...part of your finger missing, grab your face...nothing....

When It’s Over

When I was there in Vietnam, toward the end, I wanted only to get home again alive. I prayed to God and promised him that I would believe in him and tell everyone about him if only he would allow me to get back home alive. I didn’t want to die there in a strange place on strange ground so far away from home where no one from my past would ever know what had happened to me. I prayed to God and said that he could kill me at the airport in San Diego if wanted, but please, please, not to let me die in Vietnam.

By Geoffrey Hanson, June 20, 1985 | Read full article

Krulak with eldest son at Chu Lai, South Vietnam, 1965. "All three sons were all there at the same time. Only family in the United States that had four officers there at once. I worried about them just on the basis of the laws of chance."

Brute Knows War

From Pearl Harbor to Panama: A conversation on conflict

Five feet 4 inches in height, 120 pounds when he “got his full growth,” Victor Krulak was dubbed “Brute” by his fellow cadets at Annapolis. The nickname stuck. The now-77-year-old retired marine Lt. Gen. Krulak graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1934 and saw service in World War II. Krulak was stationed in Washington D.C. in the immediate post war years and then, during the Korean war, helped plan the 1950 Inchon landing and served as chief of staff of the 1st Marine Division until 1951. In 1956, at 43 ,he became the youngest general in the history of the U.S. Marines.

By Judith Moore, February 15, 1990 | Read full article

Dinner in Montagnard village (author far right). “Montagnard, he like pepper hot. Use chickenshit. Fertilize. Make pepper very hot.”

Did you fight in the war? "Yeah."

Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Standing on the colossal parade ground called the Grinder, where generations of treading ghosts betray their presence if you listen enough. Looking up to ridges of houses tucked among the trees, I remember, “You’ll be there a week before you notice there’s a city around you.” The forwarder had been more than right, two weeks passed before my numbed soul woke and recognized the truth.

By Ray Westberg, August 31, 1995 Read full article

A 14-year old boy pulls out a pack of Winstons from his t-shirt pocket and offers me a smoke. It's as if the Vietnamese never left Vietnam, or as if we never left.

Camp without Joy

Vietnamese have been brought to Camp Pendleton. The Camp Pendleton that sent Marines to Danang in the first place, just 10 years ago. With little imagination, you could think it's sort of ironic that you were on a Marine base in Vietnam 5 or 10 years ago. Well, maybe the Marines are a little more — um — mellow. No rifles or barbed wire anyway.

By Hal Luton, May 15, 1975 | Read full article

Stockholm. Sweden is now home to about 300 American war resisters — down from a peak of 800 in 1970-71.

From San Diego to Stockholm

Terry Judkins would seem perfectly at home in Mission Beach, where he remembers "hanging out" as a high school kid. He has dark blond hair and a thin blond beard. He speaks Swedish with no trace of an American accent.... Terry grew up in Clairemont, and was graduated from Clairemont High School in 1965.... When orders to Vietnam arrived during a leave in San Diego, Terry made a lonely, very important decision. He decided to flee to Sweden.

By James Cravens, May 5, 1977 | Read full article

Dewey Taylor owned a print shop in Sorrento Valley and was well known, or so claimed the other women tellers who worked with Joani at the California First Bank on Tripp Court in the valley.

The Final Days of Dewey Taylor

A tale of love and war and mysterious death.

She had dreamed the last moments her husband’s life and the first moments of his death so often and so vividly that when the time finally came, Joani Taylor kept wishing she’d awaken. But this was no dream. They were at his parents’ house in Southeast San Diego; it was a little after 11:00 a.m. on December 18, 1979, and Dewey Taylor’s heart was about to give out.

By Neal Matthews, April 16, 1981 | Read full article

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Plumbing infrastructure grants to Puerta de Hierro neighborhood
Author receiving Purple Heart from Army General Stillwell. You’re sure your leg is blown off, has to be, one arm doesn’t work your “good” hand...part of your finger missing, grab your face...nothing....
Author receiving Purple Heart from Army General Stillwell. You’re sure your leg is blown off, has to be, one arm doesn’t work your “good” hand...part of your finger missing, grab your face...nothing....

When It’s Over

When I was there in Vietnam, toward the end, I wanted only to get home again alive. I prayed to God and promised him that I would believe in him and tell everyone about him if only he would allow me to get back home alive. I didn’t want to die there in a strange place on strange ground so far away from home where no one from my past would ever know what had happened to me. I prayed to God and said that he could kill me at the airport in San Diego if wanted, but please, please, not to let me die in Vietnam.

By Geoffrey Hanson, June 20, 1985 | Read full article

Krulak with eldest son at Chu Lai, South Vietnam, 1965. "All three sons were all there at the same time. Only family in the United States that had four officers there at once. I worried about them just on the basis of the laws of chance."

Brute Knows War

From Pearl Harbor to Panama: A conversation on conflict

Five feet 4 inches in height, 120 pounds when he “got his full growth,” Victor Krulak was dubbed “Brute” by his fellow cadets at Annapolis. The nickname stuck. The now-77-year-old retired marine Lt. Gen. Krulak graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1934 and saw service in World War II. Krulak was stationed in Washington D.C. in the immediate post war years and then, during the Korean war, helped plan the 1950 Inchon landing and served as chief of staff of the 1st Marine Division until 1951. In 1956, at 43 ,he became the youngest general in the history of the U.S. Marines.

By Judith Moore, February 15, 1990 | Read full article

Dinner in Montagnard village (author far right). “Montagnard, he like pepper hot. Use chickenshit. Fertilize. Make pepper very hot.”

Did you fight in the war? "Yeah."

Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Standing on the colossal parade ground called the Grinder, where generations of treading ghosts betray their presence if you listen enough. Looking up to ridges of houses tucked among the trees, I remember, “You’ll be there a week before you notice there’s a city around you.” The forwarder had been more than right, two weeks passed before my numbed soul woke and recognized the truth.

By Ray Westberg, August 31, 1995 Read full article

A 14-year old boy pulls out a pack of Winstons from his t-shirt pocket and offers me a smoke. It's as if the Vietnamese never left Vietnam, or as if we never left.

Camp without Joy

Vietnamese have been brought to Camp Pendleton. The Camp Pendleton that sent Marines to Danang in the first place, just 10 years ago. With little imagination, you could think it's sort of ironic that you were on a Marine base in Vietnam 5 or 10 years ago. Well, maybe the Marines are a little more — um — mellow. No rifles or barbed wire anyway.

By Hal Luton, May 15, 1975 | Read full article

Stockholm. Sweden is now home to about 300 American war resisters — down from a peak of 800 in 1970-71.

From San Diego to Stockholm

Terry Judkins would seem perfectly at home in Mission Beach, where he remembers "hanging out" as a high school kid. He has dark blond hair and a thin blond beard. He speaks Swedish with no trace of an American accent.... Terry grew up in Clairemont, and was graduated from Clairemont High School in 1965.... When orders to Vietnam arrived during a leave in San Diego, Terry made a lonely, very important decision. He decided to flee to Sweden.

By James Cravens, May 5, 1977 | Read full article

Dewey Taylor owned a print shop in Sorrento Valley and was well known, or so claimed the other women tellers who worked with Joani at the California First Bank on Tripp Court in the valley.

The Final Days of Dewey Taylor

A tale of love and war and mysterious death.

She had dreamed the last moments her husband’s life and the first moments of his death so often and so vividly that when the time finally came, Joani Taylor kept wishing she’d awaken. But this was no dream. They were at his parents’ house in Southeast San Diego; it was a little after 11:00 a.m. on December 18, 1979, and Dewey Taylor’s heart was about to give out.

By Neal Matthews, April 16, 1981 | Read full article

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