Vietnam Veteran Stories

Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories
Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories

If you read nothing else ever on this site, check out Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories. Click on a veteran: They talk, we listen. Like Al Sobkowiak.

Maybe the best Vietnam War veterans production yet, “stories that haven’t been heard before, Wisconsin Vietnam War veterans recount their experiences in a three-hour television documentary coming to Wisconsin Public Television in late May.”

– Guys whose best buddies were killed right next to them

– Guys who hated the anti-war movement

– Guys who were the anti-war movement

– Their stories

"They bombed the hell out of everything. Nothing changed." - Al Sobkowiak
"They bombed the hell out of everything. Nothing changed." - Al Sobkowiak

Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories. Like Al Sobkowiak:

So I stood up. And just as I stood up, I was looking up the river, and down the river and there was about seven or eight Viet Cong that was on the opposite side of the river. And they jumped out of these little holes that they were buried in. And my guys got online and they started firing like crazy. And we had a good little battle there going, and then the Viet Cong. It went silent. They were gone. They just opened fire and then they’d take off back into the bushes. And I got hit in the legs—once up here and once in here. Three shot holes I got. And my radioman, I told him as soon as we got hit. I says, “Call the command post and tell them we’re getting hit.”

He picked up his radio, was talking, and a bullet went right through here and knocked his two fingers off. And I said, he held his hand up, you know, with no fingers, like this. He says, “I can’t talk.” I said, “Well, use your other hand!” (Laughs.)

So they brought a medevac  plane in, chopper. And then they took us to the battalion aid station and when we got to the battalion aid station the doctor came in a medevac plane there and he says, “Oh, jeez, we can’t have you guys here.” He said, “it’s too serious.” So they took us back to someplace in Da Nang, I have no idea where. And the next thing I know we’s all laying under these big lights. Some doctor had his hand in my leg, you know, and was pulling out shrapnel and bullets or whatever the hell was in there. And then the corpsman came by and he was supposed to finish up debriding, I guess they call it. He had these long tweezers, like. And he was going way in my leg and pulling all that skin out and shrapnel. He said, “You want one of these tweezers to help pull it out?” I said, “Hell no!” (Laughs.) “I don’t even want to look at that.”

So I didn’t want to see nothing. And then the radio guy, I don’t know what happened to his fingers; they were gone. His fingers were gone I know. And I never saw those guys since. I have no idea where they went and whether they lived or died, I don’t know.

So it was kind of a depressing war at the end there, you know—booby traps, more booby traps, more guys getting killed and we couldn’t do nothing. I mean, they bombed the hell out of Hanoi. They bombed the hell out of the Trail. They bombed the hell out of everything. Nothing changed. So you know, the only thing I—as I look back on it, why didn’t we get out four years earlier? Because we won nothing over there. And you’ve kind of got to say that about some of the other little wars we’re getting into. You know you go over there, you expend all these men. For what? You leave and it goes right back to the same. So but now I don’t want to think about it, you know. I’m alive.

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