North Carolina

By Brianne B.
Grade 10, North Carolina

The Vietnam War was a hard time in American History. Many people were forced to enter the war through the draft. My grandfather was one of the thousands of people drafted. He was drafted into the United States Army at the age of 19. Just out of high school, he was young and naïve of the war and what was happening outside his small town. Talk of the war in Vietnam seemed a world away, until he was sent right into the middle of it.
My grandfather went through several months of training before he was sent across the Pacific Ocean to Vietnam. “I was stationed as a night guard at our base camp once we arrived,” he said. The living conditions in Vietnam were extremely poor. “Along the streets you could see children everywhere starving,” he said. “Children held metal cups begging all the soldiers for money.” The camps were not clean and we were given little food to spare to these poor children. Many of their homes were destroyed by the war or they were already in tatters before the first shot was fired.
There were many eventful nights as a camp night guard. My grandfather had to be attentive at all times and watch his back. People had been killed at night by the Vietnamese Army. “One night I was almost killed,” my grandfather said. He on guard around ten o’clock and thought he saw a man sneaking around. He quickly grabbed his gun and stood outside his post. The man disappeared behind a nearby tree. My grandpa alerted his general through a shout and soon his unit was at his side. The men quickly surrounded the man and captured him, taking his gun. After serving his term, my grandpa made it safely home a little over a year later.

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