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"Any man who went over there and says he wasn't scared is a damn liar, and I'll tell him that to his face." (Audio Interview, 17:40)

   Kenneth Ray Rodgers
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War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Persian Gulf War, 1991
Branch: Army; Army
Service Location: Vietnam; Korea
Rank: Captain
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Serving in two wars over twenty years apart gave Kenneth Rodgers a unique perspective on the many ways the American military changed between Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War. He enlisted in the Army in 1968 before finishing high school, and he was hardly prepared for a tour of duty in Vietnam during some of the worst days of that war. After returning to civilian life, Rodgers decided in 1977 to give the Army another try, and his experience in the Gulf War as an officer in a reserve unit went much more smoothly.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (7 clips)
»Complete Interview  (48 min.)
»Transcript
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»Forever a Soldier
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (7 items)
Enlisting against the wishes of his family (01:52) Volunteering to go to Vietnam from Korea; early impressions; coping with the stress. (05:30) Difficulty in measuring progress; horrible conditions; physical reminders of his experience. (04:56)
Impact of the war on Vietnamese civilians. (01:45) Leaving the military; difficulty adjusting to civilian life; deciding to re-enlist. (04:04) His role in Desert Storm; what the military meant to him on the second time around. (07:03)
Reflections on serving in Vietnam. (01:00)  
  
 
Home » Kenneth Ray Rodgers
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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