Wil served in 1968 and 1969. Vietnam wasn’t something that even registered on my teenage brain until late in my junior year of high school (spring 1966), when a young substitute teacher in my civics class told us that,” You had better pay attention to what is happening in Vietnam, because some of you will probably end up fighting over there.”
Two years later, shortly after the Tet offensive of 1968, I got my draft notice. I just followed the call of my country and went along with the program, figuring that the Washington crowd must know what they were doing.
I wasn’t even worried until I got in country and realized, “ I might die here.” However, by the time that I had joined my outfit in the field I had adopted the philosophy that, “I’m going to do the best job I can, and if they get me then they get me, I’m going to go down fighting and not worry about it in between.” While not a profound philosophy, it got me through the year, or at least the beginning when I was picking up the art of being a gun bunny. The work, lack of sleep, firing the gun, the fighting, living in a bunker, all became a part of my life for a while. I did a good job. Tried to do my part. Treated my companions fairly. I learned more about life and myself than I ever would have otherwise. For those things I’m not sorry, no matter how the war came out.