A Time to Kill
Edited by Denny Roy,
Grant P. Skabelund, and Ray C. Hillam

Chapter 4
Killing and Being Killed

[p.117]Jerry L. Jensen, Army Special Forces, Korea and Vietnam

I can remember the first time that I was in a combat situation. The Chinese made a big sweep at us in a big mass attack. I was in my foxhole up on a ridge line. Korea is a mass of ridges. We were dug in just 150 meters below the crest. They came swarming up at us. We were told to hold fire until we received the command. Theyjust kept getting closer and closer. I was watching the eyes of this one guy that was heading right towards me. Finally they gave us the command to fire. He and I fired simultaneously and he missed. I got him. That was the first time I killed anyone.

Robert M. Detweiler,1 Air Force pilot, Vietnam

We used to drop fire weapons on enemy supply trucks, and we knew through our intelligence that those [p. 118]drivers were shackled to the steering wheels in those trucks and couldn’t get out. Once those trucks caught on fire, the drivers just burned to death in the trucks. That didn’t stop me one bit from going after those trucks and getting those guys. I remember once stopping a convoy of about forty-seven trucks, and we got every truck in that whole convoy. And the things exploded, exploded, exploded all night long. What we got was a convoy carrying weapons and ammunition down south. By stopping the traffic and the flow of supplies to the south we protected all of our troops that were in the south. Just think of all the lives we saved. We killed the enemy, but the guys we saved were our own guys, and that’s the whole idea.

George E. Morse,2 Army Special Forces, Vietnam

I’ve seen young men who learned to love to kill and maim. They were animals. I couldn’t believe some of the things that I saw. I’d think, “This can’t be. They must not have been raised like I was raised.” I don’t know whether it was the war or something else, but some of those guys just went wacko. Maybe it was because of training. The government trained us to be professional assassins and that’s what we did.

[p. 119]Peter Bell, Army Special Forces, Vietnam

I saw guys in combat in my unit who delighted in taking life. Often I found myself caught up in the thrill, just like deer hunting, chasing animals down, and killing them. That’s when I’d start feeling bad. I’d think, “The Lord is going to hold me accountable for enjoying the hunt and the kill, rather than thinking of it as a job to do and something that had to be done.”

Robert G. Cary,3 Army infantryman, Vietnam

I was twenty-three when I went into the army and I always wondered what it would be like to kill a person. But I found out that when you are under stress and a person is trying to kill you, it isn’t that hard to shoot back. Another thing that helped is that I never knew if I killed anybody or not. I’ve never been close enough that I’ve actually had to kill somebody standing in front of me.

After a year of someone trying to kill you all the time, it gets to the point where you build up a little resistance against thinking of them as your brothers or as other human beings. You just think of them as the enemy and you need to kill them.

Kim Farnworth,4 Marine Special Forces, Vietnam

It boils down to basic survival. There’s a very, very [p.120]fine line that a person has to cross to actually kill. And during three tours of Nam, I never saw anyone who, when first presented with that problem, didn’t hesitate, because it’s an area that you have to cross over into. Once you have crossed that fine line, it’s easy. It actually becomes excitement. And, in fact, I wrote home saying I thought I was losing my mind because in a way, it actually had become a game. It sounds sick, but we’d make bets on which way their hats would fly when we shot them.

Neil Workman, Marine radio operator, World War II

We came to what they call a “pill box.” It was kind of like a basement house with dirt and plants growing over the top of it. There were windows and slots on the side of it, and those inside could shoot out from these slots. We were pinned down by their firing and couldn’t get past it. We had one fellow who had a flame-thrower on his back. Those flame-throwers would throw a flame 150 feet. We had riflemen concentrate their shooting at the slots on a corner of this building, and while the Japanese were ducking, the guy with the flame-thrower was able to get close to that corner. He put the nozzle of the flame-thrower in through the opening and turned it on. This turned the building into a big oven. The Japanese started running out the other side of the building, and he stood and turned the flame-thrower on them. They counted about fifty bodies. You can’t imagine what happens to a person burned with a flame-thrower until you see it. It burned their clothes, singed everything, turned them black—it was like a weenie roast, if you have ever seen a weenie that was burnt to a crisp. The bodies actually bloated up and split open just like an overcooked weenie. [p. 121]But the thing that’s amazing is how we reacted to this scene. We didn’t even think about it. You’d think that we would’ve been sickened by it, but it was just a day’s work. We just stepped over them and went on.

Clyde Everett Weeks, Jr.,5 Marine infantryman, World War II

It was something that we didn’t want to do but had to do. We were committed to doing it. We were prepared to pay whatever price we had to: to win the war, to establish peace in this country, hopefully for all time. I was called upon to fire a rifle, to throw hand grenades, to use the implements of war. I wasn’t really fighting against people. I was fighting against an invasion, against the idea of having our country overrun by a foreign power, having our freedoms taken away. Many young men and women participated in the war. They were very committed to that ideal. They weren’t bloodthirsty. They weren’t killers. They weren’t people who wanted to kill other people. We’d been attacked. We’d been threatened. Our very way of life had been threatened. I just participated and wanted to do my part to make sure that the things we treasured and enjoyed as Americans would be preserved.

Kirk T. Waldron, Air Force pilot, Vietnam

If you believe in God, and you believe in your country and you believe basically in what you are doing and you recognize the scriptural admonition that there’s a necessity at times for war, horrid though it is, then you realize that you can do it. How did Abraham feel when he was told [p. 122]to sacrifice his son? He was willing to do it. I think that kind of an upbringing, where we have scriptural support and spiritual assurance that there’s a meaning and a purpose behind it, allows us to understand that while certainly not desirable or pleasant, killing is at times justifiable, even necessary.

Michael R. Johnson, Marine infantryman, Vietnam

Killing had to be automatic. If it had to be done, if the situation came up, you just had to pull the trigger and worry about your head later. Better to react quickly than to be thinking, “Gosh, I’m lying here with all these bullets in me. I wish I’d pulled the trigger first.” You knew they didn’t care, they were going to shoot you—no qualms, no questions asked. It was a matter of just doing it and worrying about the psychological side of it later.

Jerry L. Jensen, Army Special Forces, Korea and Vietnam

The idea of having to kill people always bothered me. My church leaders told me that when serving in the military under orders, we wouldn’t be held accountable for what we had to do when under orders. Leaders of the nations truly would. But I really feel that there are some officers who’ll also pay for what they did.

Don G. Andrews,6 Army helicopter pilot, Vietnam

I remember an incident where I was having break-[p.123]fast  with an infantry commander very early in the morning as we were going out on a mission that day. Someone came in and told him that one of his young officers, whom I’m sure he admired and respected, had just been killed. They had the enemy surrounded in a tunnel. This colonel went on the radio and said, loudly and clearly, “I want no prisoners!” Well, that’s against the Geneva Code. But I understood where he was coming from, and I understood the emotions he was feeling. I certainly don’t subscribe to violating the Geneva Code, but I also understand the realities of war and what this guy was going through at the time that he said that. Probably the next day he wouldn’t have said it.

Jerry L. Jensen, Army Special Forces, Korea and Vietnam

I probably will have to answer for some of the people I’ve killed. I can very honestly say that when I killed them, I wasn’t thinking of mom, home, apple pie, and country. My thought was, “I’m going to kill you, you S.O.B., be fore you kill me.” I’ve done it many times. I know that I’ll have to some day stand before that bar of judgment and they’ll say, “Why did you do this?” I think I can answer that if it was in error, it was because the information we had was wrong.

Michael Terry,7 Army infantryman, Vietnam

When we were walking through My Lai, there were a few villagers running here and there. A lot of them were still trying to get out of the area. There were dead people lying all over the place. I must have seen fifty or sixty that [p. 124]day. I assumed a lot of these people were killed by the artillery and helicopter gunfire.

We noticed some people lying in a ditch. It looked like a couple of them might still be alive. I mean, half their heads were missing, and things like that. It was pretty gory. Both me and the guy I was with had the feeling that we just had to make sure they were dead, because in our minds, they were goners no matter what. So we just made sure they were dead. There were two or three of them.

I’ve thought back on that many times, and I’ve always thought that what we did was the thing to do, and there was no doubt about it. I was living right, and I just went by how I felt. So I don’t feel bad about it. I just felt, and still do, that it was the right thing to do.

C. Grant Ash, Army Air Forces bombardier, World War II

I think you kind of conditioned yourself by saying, “All I’m knocking out are the ships and the docks. I only want to set fire to the warehouses. I want to destroy their ability to produce gasoline. I really am not going to kill many people” at least those were the kinds of thoughts that were in my mind. In Ploesti, Romania, I hoped that they were smart enough to get down in their bomb shelters when they knew we were coming. It was never very personal; the actual thought of the killing was quite remote. I didn’t have any trouble putting distance between me and anybody I might kill.

Walter H. Speidel, German Army Afrika Korps, World War II

In the summer of 1938 our school arranged for youth camps or youth exchange programs locally with the French. A people-to-people approach showed us we had much in common with the young French, who were all about fifteen or sixteen years old. We were aware that a war was imminent, but everybody hoped and wished that it could be avoided. Yet we realized that eventually we might have to fight each other.

[p. 125]I could never feel any hatred towards anybody, French, British, or American, probably because I was so well acquainted with the language, history, and culture of those countries and I knew personally so many LDS missionaries and the young French people.

C. Grant Ash, Army Air Forces bombardier, World War II

We aren’t taught to hate people. I think our philosophy was always, “Those poor deluded Germans and that bounder of a Hitler.” We hated Hitler; we could talk ourselves into that, but we had a hard time talking ourselves into hating the soldiers we were fighting. I’m sure ground troops that faced those guns every day and were shelled back and forth had to learn to shoot first in order to save their lives. But as one flying in airplanes in the Army Air Forces, when I was being shot at, I was saying, “They are shooting up at me, but wait until they receive all of these bombs down there.” It was a game more than any real hatred. I never dropped a bomb in hatred.

Danny L. Foote, Marine artillery, Vietnam

It was like the enemy wasn’t a real person to me. Communists, or at least their philosophy, deny the reality of God, and looking at it from that point of view, it became more of a religious thing with me than anything else. It became a battle of good against evil, not against people.

Jerry L. Jensen, Army Special Forces, Korea and Vietnam

You can’t kill anyone you consider your equal. You have to psych yourself up that they are less than human, that they are animals and they deserve to die. I, like everyone else, pretty much felt that way. It was pretty easy to do that, especially when you saw the atrocities they committed. We’d go into a village and find the village chief and his wife hanging with their bellies split open; instances where they’d cut open their bellies, filled them full of rice, sewed them back up, and let the sun kill them. You’d come into [p. 126]an area or a village that had been friendly and find them beheaded, or find one of your patrols with their heads missing. It didn’t take too long before you were quite willing to go out and hunt them down as wild tigers.

Ron Fernstedt, Marine infantryman, Vietnam

As far as killing goes, when you are fighting in a war, you don’t kill human beings; you kill Gooks, Dinks, Slopes, and Krauts in the last big war. You dehumanize the enemy to the point where it’s just like hunting deer. It becomes a game, so it’s no big thing. And I was very good at this game. I was one of the best—at least that’s what everybody told me. Men would volunteer to go on patrols if I was leading them. They’d volunteer because they knew I wouldn’t waste them and they knew that with me in charge they had a chance of coming back—a really good chance. We always had fun. I don’t know who made up that stupid rule that you can’t have fun when you are playing guns, because you can.

You have to remember that for us, Vietnam was like an extended hunting trip. Uncle Sam was giving us all the ammunition we needed, all the food, and paying us good money to boot. I was making almost two hundred dollars a month, and for combat pay, that isn’t bad. We didn’t care. We were a bunch of jocks out just having a ball.

Danny L. foote, Marine artillery, Vietnam

With the knowledge I had that death is no more than walking through another door, the whole idea of death didn’t really mean a lot because in reality there was no death. People were just being sent off to other places. So the idea of death meant very little to me then and it means very little to me now.

The act of killing someone in that environment doesn’t bother me today simply because, like I say, there’s no death; we all continue to live. We all go on to the Great Judge and to our reward, whatever that might be. It will all [p. 127]come out in the end, and whether this individual went on to his reward or I did, we all continue to live, so all I did was send the guy on vacation.

J. Tom Kallunki,8 Army infantryman and press officer, Vietnam

We got into a fire fight. I know that I shot one ofthe Viet Cong, one ofthe fellows in the black pajamas, who was shooting at us. I thought, “I wonder if this guy has a family? Where are they? What’s his story?” We’djust talked to some prisoners we’d captured. I thought, “What a waste.” But, frankly, I didn’t feel guilty that I’d taken his life. That was never in my mind. Maybe it was the training, maybe it was the fact that I’d read scriptures that indicated people died when they opposed the freedom of others.

David L. Evans, Army infantryman, World War II

We were attacking. We’d kept them pinned down as we moved up the ridge, and as I got up near the crest of the ridge a German suddenly came up out of a hole. We’d had a few come up like this. They’d see us attacking, and they’d just been plastered with so much artillery and machine gun fire that they always came out with their arms in the air. But this one came out with a rifle and swung it toward me. I was down on my knee. Before he could aim I fired, and it was point blank. There was no way I could possibly miss. [p.128]There was a sudden look of surprise on his face. I guess he was thinking the same way I always had: “Everybody else will get it, but it won’t happen to me.” He suddenly knew that it had, and it was too late. I shot him right in the face. That was a face I didn’t get over for a long time—that sudden surprise, just total amazement.

Lynn Packer, Army broadcaster, Vietnam

The war made me cynical. I became even more cynical about the lack of church support for servicemen in helping them deal with the choices they have to make. I’d been taught it isn’t good to kill unless you have a good reason to do it. And I thought Vietnam was really borderline. I didn’t hold it against troops who went out and killed Vietnamese, saying, “Everybody understands the rules; it’s a war. We can get shot and we can shoot back.” But that isn’t good. I don’t know what I would’ve done had I been told to go out and shoot. It would’ve been a tough moral call for me to make.

As I was doing stories about Vietnam, I got press clippings from the military information service about all the stories that were being done by major U.S. media. While I was in the middle of doing stories over a several-day period, I learned that there had been two Mormons who had participated in the My Lai massacre.9It’s one of the few times I cried in Vietnam. I read the clipping and hung my head. I’d been doing all these stories and wondering, “Had I been there, would I have had the courage to walk between the women and children and the machine gunners and say, ‘This is wrong’?” I was really upset. We are taught that when we are tempted with taking drugs or with having an extramarital affair or with doing something wrong, we should [p. 129]know the right thing to do. To me it’s borderline to shoot someone on the battlefield, but it isn’t a borderline question at all if it’s women and kids in a ditch.

It left me cynical and bitter about that, wondering why you even go to church if you don’t know how to use the instruction you get there. I don’t know what I would’ve done. I hope that had I been thrust into a situation like that, at least I wouldn’t have done it, and better yet, I would’ve stood up for what I knew to be right. But it just shows you how far the war had gone wrong.

Neil Workman, Marine radio operator, World War II

This bothered me: we crossed the island and pushed the Japanese to the coast at the other end of the island. A lot of them were trying to surrender, but we’d been ordered to take no prisoners. On another island about five miles or so away, the Japanese had started to swim out into the ocean. For some of the guys around us, well, it was just like shooting ducks. It was target practice to see who they could hit swimming out in the water. Our guys shot them even though they were helpless in the water. It was just a contest to see who could shoot the most.

Grant Warren, Air force rescue, Vietnam

I never dealt with the possibility of being killed. My ego was so big that I never even gave it a thought. I guess that’s the truth. I just never gave it a thought. If you did, you couldn’t dwell on it. I think that’s why a lot of guys went in for alcohol and drugs. For me it was almost the attitude that an athlete gets, that “I can take this guy one on one and there’s nothing he can do about it.” I had the attitude of, “I can handle this and nothing is going to happen to me.” Honestly, I never gave it a thought.

Ron Fernstedt, Marine infantryman, Vietnam

Two things about dying: dying only happens to the other guy; and I’d been promised that I couldn’t be killed [p. 130]as long as I was living the gospel, and so I never even worried about dying. Never had any fear of it. Most of us were more afraid of being injured so badly we couldn’t do things we enjoyed.

Dennis E. Holden, Marine infantryman, Vietnam

There were times when you’d be walking across rice paddies and the enemy would ambush you. You’d see your buddies fall. You’d ask yourself, “Why did that person die and I didn’t?” I’d find myself saying, “God must have something planned for me or I would also have been killed.” Your faith in God helped soften your fear of death.

Ted L. Weaver, Army Air Forces bomber pilot, World War II

All we could do was realize that our number could come up and then put it in the back of our minds and go ahead and do our job. That was the attitude I took. Most of my crew took the same attitude. However, my co-pilot had the foreboding that he’d never come back. That was the way he talked and acted. Whether that contributed to the fact that he did not, I don’t know.

Kirk T. Waldron, Air Force pilot, Vietnam

Before I ever went or before I even volunteered to go to Vietnam, I considered the possibility that I might not come home. I discussed that with my wife. You don’t spend too much time on ideas like that because basically they are morbid and depressing and it isn’t pleasant to think about them. On the other hand, you are realistic enough that you have your affairs in order and your estate planned so that you at least in some relatively modest way have your family taken care of in case it does happen. When you know your training has been good and you feel like you are a professional and you do your job well, then you enhance your odds for survival.

[p. 131]Dennis E. Holden, Marine infantryman, Vietnam

Fear of death is a unique feeling that causes you to perform at abnormally high levels. Once you got over there, you came to realize that all of your instincts had to be accentuated if you were to survive. I was on patrols where 50 percent of my patrol was killed; it became clear very early that you couldn’t take anything for granted. Every noise, every movement, every visual sign, and every gut feeling had to be taken seriously or you could die. I found that the careless were more likely to die than those who developed their survival instincts. I found myself detecting noises that the normal person never recognizes. Movements in the jungle never went unnoticed and every smell meant something to me. At times it seemed like I’d developed eyes in the back of my head. I know that I wouldn’t be here today if my survival instincts hadn’t been so strong.

John A. Duff, Army helicopter pilot, Vietnam

I lost many friends. I had a very good friend who was a platoon commander with me in the Cobra helicopters, and he had his ship blown up in midair, hit with an incendiary round, got it right in the fuel tank and blew it up, just gone. But that wasn’t the only one. A lot of people did that, but you couldn’t let yourself get into it. If you did that, your emotions would be so tight you’d flip, and that did happen to a lot of people. Friends died, but you didn’t think about them being there. You just simply boxed up his stuff and took care of it and sent it back to his family and wrote a letter to them.

Hyde L. Taylor, Army Airborne, Vietnam

I think it’s just like when you go to a funeral where they always say, “Remember, this is just this part of our eternal life, and we’ve got something else.” That really comes home if you think about it. I thought about it a lot and I remember telling a lot of people that when they were afraid. I went through that several times.

[p. 132]I can remember the night a young man in our unit was killed. That night about eight of us descended into a bomb crater and stayed there. I remember telling two young men who were pretty scared about that belief. I guess I preached to them, but I didn’t mean to. I think it was a calming influence.

George E. Morse, Army Special Forces, Vietnam

When I got shot through the chest, I passed out. Then I came back to my senses a little bit. I didn’t hurt very much, but I realized that I’d been shot when I saw the blood. Something happened at that time so that I never worried about dying. I don’t know whether I was already dead or whether I was dreaming or what happened. I was lying in a ditch, and I turned around and started firing. I’d gotten to the point where I hurt so bad and I didn’t know if any body was coming to help. I didn’t want to live anymore. I closed my eyes and the next thing I knew I was standing, and it was cool and nice. I wasn’t hurt and l didn’t have any scars. I looked down and saw myself lying on the ground. I turned around and saw light. There was a path that I walked up with a little stream running alongside it, kind of like I was in the mountains. It was nice; it was like a summer day. I walked up over a ridge where I met my grandfather, who had died. He said, “You have to go back. You haven’t finished what you were sent to do.” I looked at him, turned around and walked back down the ridge. The next thing I knew I was hurting again.

Danny L. Foote, Marine artillery, Vietnam

I’d get very angry whenever an American—whether I knew him or not—got killed. It sounds like it’s kind of a contradictory feeling, but you know the guy is young and he’s got a family and you think about the hurt and the pain back home—it just made me very angry. I’d just want to lash out. Yet at the same time you kind of had to have a balance in how you dealt with it. So, I’d get angry and I’d feel emo-[p.133]tional and sorry for this guy, but then I’d think, “Well, better him than me.” As far as bonds, it goes back to the fact that you never really knew any of these guys for longer than six months to a year, so although you call yourselves friends, close friends, it isn’t like somebody you grew up with or went to school with. You could kind of remove yourself from the situation a little bit.

Albert E. Haines, Army infantryman, World War II

I suppose one of the first jarring incidents of combat was to have a sniper take the life of one of my assistant squad leaders, a sergeant. He was virtually right alongside me. We’d gone through a brick factory and we were out the other side scouting the way to get through the village. Through a little crack or crevice in the door a sniper zeroed in and shot him near the heart. He lasted maybe a minute, a minute and a half, with me at his side and maybe a couple of others. That was when the war really became quite real. Death was part of it; not only death, but there were a thousand casualties a day—the sergeant is no longer here, he’s “there.” He was still a responsibility to me. Although he was dead, he was a living responsibility because he had a wife. As platoon leader, I’d censored his mail. I knew of his family, so, although he was dead, he lived on.

Lincoln R. Whitaker, Army infantryman, World War II

Our daily routine was guard duty in a foxhole if we weren’t fighting. We had two men to a hole and we stood guard all night. They’d set up rifles and shoot right at the foxholes all during the night. We were to keep a guard open. One of the two men would have to keep guard all night. We had to take turns.

During one of these periods one of my best buddies, a man from Ohio, was shot right between the eyes at midnight while he was on duty and I was down in the bottom of the hole sleeping. I didn’t hear anything. It must have been a small thud because it went right through his [p. 134]helmet and right into his head. He was killed instantly. When I woke up the man was dead. I didn’t know how he died until daylight.

Hyde L. Taylor, Army Airborne, Vietnam

I had a young man named Barton. I’ll never forget his name. We were in Dak To. Our battalion and another battalion had come in contact with the enemy brigade or regiment. It was really tough terrain, a lot of heavy jungle. I remember a lot of big rocks and a lot of huge rivers up there.

We had contact off and on with the enemy, and we were doing pretty good. We came on the trail where the enemy had laid communication lines, wire. So we knew that if they’d laid wire, it was a pretty good-sized unit. Small units didn’t set up those kinds of communications. Sure enough, we got into them, and they put up quite a fight.

We were a pretty small unit. As we were trying to wait to get some help from another company and calling for artillery, I warned everybody, “Don’t go near the trail.” The jungle was pretty thick and we were pretty safe as long as we were down in the jungle. They could fire at us, but it was a pretty slim chance that anybody would get hit. We could see fire, but we never did see anybody. There was a lot of firing going on.

I repeated, “Whatever you do, don’t go on that trail.” The only open area was this trail. This young man Barton just stepped across the trail and they shot him right in the head right in front of me. He dropped right at my feet and fell back in the jungle. I remembered saying just minutes before, “Don’t anyone go near that trail.” It was kind of sad, something that stays with you for a long time. I’ll always remember him.

Lincoln R. Whitaker, Army infantryman, World War II

On one occasion we were advancing to take some high ground. This was farm country. I had a Lieutenant [p. 135]Westover at my side. We were walking toward this high ground and all of a sudden machine gun fire opened up. He said, “Where’s that machine gun fire coming from?”

I said, “I don’t know exactly, but I think it’s coming from that haystack up there.”

He said, “We’ve got to knock that out.” So we started toward it. The machine gun fire was directed mostly at the other members ofour squad. It didn’t appear to be directed at us, so we moved on.

As we were moving up there, we discovered that the haystack wasn’t a haystack at all. It was a tank and it had an eighty-eight-millimeter cannon mounted on it. They saw the bars on the lieutenant walking within a few feet of me and fired a round from the cannon directly at him. One explosion and he was totally destroyed. There wasn’t anything left of him. After that battle was over, they asked me to go out and identify the spot where he was and see if we could pick up any of his identification. We found his wallet, his identification, his dog tags, and a few pounds of flesh that wasn’t recognizable as being from him or anyone else.

Michael Terry, Army infantryman, Vietnam

Once a guy alongside me got shot. He was a flower-child type kid, a draftee, and he hated being over there. He didn’t want to have to kill somebody. It was really tough on him. He got shot, a clean shot right through the leg. He was bawling and laughing at the same time. He knew he’d be sent back home, and he was so glad.

Albert E. Haines, Army infantryman, World War II

One little vignette concerns a platoon sergeant that initiated me in the Hurtgen Forest. While we were making our way toward Frenzeberg through artillery and mortar fire, he took a shrapnel wound in the leg. He stood straight up and said, “I’ve got mine. Goodbye.” He turned and walked away, not waiting for the battle to cool or for evacuation.

[p. 136]He’d seen so many of his people killed. After months and months of combat duty (Africa, Normandy, Hurtgen), he was just looking (and I didn’t fault him) for a safe-conduct pass back to the United States. He didn’t care how seriously he was wounded, as long as he wasn’t killed. He stood straight up in that battlefield and said, “I’ve got mine,” and he walked off the field.


[p.117]1. Robert M. Detweiler was born 20 July 1930 in Centralia, Illinois. He attended Zeigler Community High School in Illinois before receiving an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Detweiler was thirty-seven years old, married, and had two daughters and a son when he entered combat in [p.118]Vietnam. A former Lutheran, Detweiler joined the LDS church in 1976. Using his master’s degree in nuclear physics, he has worked for several organizations as a scientist and research administrator.

2. George E. Morse was born 4 October 1945 in Torrance, California. After graduating from Provo (Utah) High School, Morse became a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces as a single nineteen-year-old. He had three tours of duty in Vietnam: 1966, 1967, and 1969. Morse is a power supply manager with Provo City.

3. Robert G. Cary was born 12 October 1943 in Tucson, Arizona. After graduating from Livermore Joint Union High School in California, Cary attended San Joaquin Delta Junior College in Stockton, California, where he earned an associate’s degree in industrial arts. In 1964 he joined the LDS church. He then studied for a year at Brigham Young University before going to Vietnam in 1967. After his military service, Cary was supervisor of the Games Center at Brigham Young University. He is now the assistant manager of Outdoors Unlimited at BYU.

4. Kim L. Farnworth was born 28 April 1947 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended Orem (Utah) High School and married [p.119]before leaving for Vietnam at the age of eighteen. His wife gave birth to a son while Farnworth was in Vietnam. Farnworth works at Geneva Steel in Orem.

5. Clyde Everett Weeks, Jr., was born 18 November 1925 in Manila, Philippines. Weeks graduated from Provo (Utah) High School and studied journalism and business administration at the University of Utah before joining the U.S. Marines Corps as a single seventeen-year-old. He was editor of the Orem-Geneua Times for five years after his World War II experience. Weeks is currently the postmaster of the Orem, Utah, post office.

6. Donald George Andrews was born 5 December 1932 in Miami, Florida. After graduating from Miami High School, Andrews earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Florida. Parents to a six-year-old son, Andrews and his wife had a daughter in 1964 while he was on his first tour of duty in Vietnam. In June 1966, just over a year before he began his second tour, Andrews, an Episcopalian, joined the LDS church. He was a professor of military science at Brigham Young University from 1977 to 1980. He retired as a colonel from the U.S. Army and is now vice-president of Rocky Mountain Helicopters.

7. Michael B. Terry was born 24 January 1947 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from Orem (Utah) High School and then studied math at Brigham Young University for three semesters before beginning his military preparation. As a single twenty-year-old, Terry went to Vietnam. Terry is a concrete contractor in Orem, Utah.

8. J. Thomas Kallunki was born 15 September 1936 in Portland, Oregon. Kallunki graduated from Bell (California) High School and attended Cal Poly College in San Luis Obispo, California, where he studied journalism. Before he left on his first tour of duty in Vietnam (1965-66), Kallunki and his wife had a two-year-old son. During that first tour a daughter was born. He went on a second tour of duty in 1968-69. Kallunki, who joined the LDS church in 1955, retired as a major from the U.S. Army. His last assignment was professor of military science at Brigham Young University from 1980 to 1983. He is currently the assistant director of student leadership development at Brigham Young University.

9. LDS church members Greg Olsen and Michael Terry served in units involved in the My Lai incident. Both men say they did not participate in the brutalization of My Lai’s civilian population.