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"I realized that if I don't just respect and remember and honor the boys who were there with me, nobody's going to." (Audio interview, 53:43)

   Richard R. DeLeon
Image of Richard R. DeLeon
Richard DeLeon, Tayninh, Vietnam.
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Unit: A Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment
Service Location: Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas
Highest Rank: Specialist
Place of Birth: New York, NY
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As a medic in Vietnam, Richard DeLeon, who had prided himself as a street-tough New Yorker, saw things he would never see in Manhattan. What impressed him most was the camaraderie the men felt for him and one another, the kind of fierce loyalty that drove his best buddy to rescue the lone survivor of a copter crash at the risk of his own life. DeLeon had a difficult time readjusting to civilian life, especially when he saw how cavalier his co-workers on Wall Street were about the casualties of war.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (7 clips)
»Complete Interview  (78 min.)
»Photo Album (4 photos)
More like this
»Forever a Soldier
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (7 items)
The aims of basic training. (00:41) Mission along the Ho Chi Minh Trail; getting ambushed. (07:53) Reunited with his company to make contact with the enemy; copter crash and rescuing a survivor. (17:41)
His buddy Dave Nava, decorated but lacking a battlefield commission. (02:49) Mail call; troubles with readjustment to life back in the States. (02:58) Soldiers' resentment of lack of support back home; postwar job on Wall Street and dealing with colleagues' indifference; remembering his buddies. (02:37)
War's effect on him; his re-entry to civilian life; commemorating two men he served with. (07:07)  
Home » Richard R. DeLeon
  The Library of Congress
  May 29, 2007
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