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Experiencing War (Companion to the New Book -- Forever a Soldier): Stories from the Veterans History Project

The outcome of any armed conflict holds not just the promise of peace but also dark, terrible revelations, questions of justice over the vanquished, and, for far too many, the confronting of personal loss. In these stories, of a concentration camp liberator, an interrogator of war criminals, and a mother dealing with her son's death in combat, we see how war's awful actions reverberate for decades to come.

Image of Denton Winslow Crocker, Jr.
Pvt. Denton W. Crocker, Jr., eighteen years old, Fort Benning, GA [September 1965]


A top-notch student, a respectful son, and a loyal brother to his young siblings, Denton Crocker, Jr. was also a student of history and obsessed with the war in Southeast Asia. In the fall of 1964, this high school senior ran away from home to try to enlist in the Army, knowing his parents preferred he go to college before serving his country. He eventually got his wish and became an infantryman in the jungles of Vietnam. His mother's moving memoir of her son's life and ultimate sacrifice attests to his idealism and sense of honor.

Go to Denton Crockers' StoryLearn more about Denton Winslow Crocker, Jr.
Jump DownJump to other stories featured in Chapter Six

"I still believe that individual freedom is the most important thing in the world and I am willing to die defending that idea." (Memoir, page 17)

Image of James Frank Dorris, Jr.

"This is what hell is like. In my mind I imagined the devil himself coming up out of the ground."

James Frank Dorris, Jr.'s story

Image of John Ernest Dolibois

"Oddly enough, I had driven through Rheims the day that General Jodl was signing the surrender documents, and I didn't even know it."

John Ernest Dolibois' story

  Home >> Chapter Six: WAR'S CONSEQUENCES
  The Library of Congress
  October 27, 2005
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