In the Fall of 2023, classmates Bill Stableford and Arthur Fergenson arranged an online Casual Conversation with several '69s who served in Viet Nam. Bill described his intent as follows:
"While the Vietnam War was indeed long ago, none of us were unaffected by it, so I think that an historical perspective and discussion might be of interest to fellow classmates, regardless of how they felt or what they did about the war. For the presentation, I thought it would be of interest to hear from those classmates who actually served in Vietnam. I found five classmates who served in Vietnam who are willing to participate in a '69 Casual Conversation.
John Lallis served as an artillery officer on an artillery base.
Sandy Alderson served as a Marine infantry platoon leader.
Paul Pillar served as an officer in the Adjutant General corps at a transient depot within Tan Son Nhut air base outside Saigon. The work involved administrative processing of personnel coming into and out of country. He came back on the last plane of the withdrawal following the 1973 peace agreement.
John Sasser served as a platoon leader and company commander of an Engineer Battalion, drilling wells for Army units throughout northern RVN.
Nick North served as a staff officer at battalion headquarters in an Air Mobile unit.
I was in Army ROTC and I am a Vietnam Era veteran, but I ended up serving stateside as a platoon leader and staff officer with the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Lewis, Washington. While I am proud of having served in uniform, I take my hat off and defer to those who served in Vietnam."
Bill asked our '69 Vietnam Veterans to briefly discuss the following:
What were your thoughts about the war while on campus?
What were your reasons for serving in the military at that time?
What were your experiences in Vietnam, and how did they affect you at the time?
How did you manage the transition from military life back to civilian life?
What are your current perspectives on your experiences in Vietnam?
The Casual Conversation was by far our best attended virtual event to date, and led to contributions and conversations among a wide range of classmates who served in Viet Nam, who served but remained stateside, and classmates who did not serve but who wanted to share how the war impacted them.
We have collected (and continue to collect) contributions from classmates and share them here in this section of our web site, arranged in alphabetical order. If you would like to contribute to this collection, please contact us