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"I almost said my Hail Marys and last rites right there." (Video interview, 39:54)

   Santos Rosas
Image of Santos Rosas
Santos Rosas [2004]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Unit: 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
Service Location: Vietnam
Rank: Specialist Four
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Drafted into the Army in 1969 at the age of 18, Santos Rosas was sent to Vietnam and assigned to a patrol unit based out of Pleiku. Endless patrols in the jungles offered no shortage of gut-wrenching experiences: losing close friends and sustaining injuries himself. The trials of Vietnam didn't end with his homecoming: He suffered rashes from exposure to Agent Orange and had trouble readjusting to the confines of his close-knit family. Throughout it all, though, he maintained an upbeat attitude and an appreciation for the small pleasures of everyday life.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview  (59 min.)
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»Hispanics in Service
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Telling his parents he was going to Vietnam, one of the hardest things he's ever had to do; emotional journey to basic training. (02:10) Flying into Pleiku; bonding with two other comrades he flew in with; conditions in the field; counting his blessings every day. (03:07) Experience of going on patrol; being alert for booby traps; cutting their own trails; what he carried; carrying his personal effects in his ammo box. (04:51)
Injured while on patrol; falling into a booby trap and pierced through the knee by a sharpened stick; recuperation. (03:48) Coming home after eleven months and seven days in Vietnam; trying to buy a beer at a bar with his brother, but not old enough; reunion with his family was one of the greatest moments of his life. (03:05) Close calls; seeking solace from the military chaplain who was posted to his unit. (00:46)
  
 

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  October 26, 2011
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