"Two of my cousins came back in caskets. ... Another cousin came back shell-shocked." Pictured here with several friends in France. Ivan A. Farnswerth (third from the left) died in 1989 at 92 years of age.

"I told my squadron public relations officer that the only mission I'd accept a Distinguished Flying Cross for was ... when the group commanding officer wanted to court-martial me." J. Keith Melville (front row, first on left) with his crew.

"I just participated and wanted to do my part to make sure that the things we treasured and enjoyed as Americans would be preserved." Clyde Everett Weeks, Jr.

"The navigator brought us over the coastline and I spotted a landing field that was very similar to ours, but it just didn't seem right." Lawrence H. Johnson

"I could never feel any hatred towards anybody, French, British, or American."

"Our sergeant was also untouched because he knew how to delegate authority. [He] never left the command post."

"Just as I turned my head to the right, I got the bullet." Jey Dell Butler, at a military training camp near Little Rock, Arkansas.

"They brought in some Red Cross stationery and said we could write home…. I just put in big bold letters, 'Who are you monkeys trying to kid?' Ten minutes later … I took another working over:" G. Easton Brown (front row, second from left) with his crew.

"I knew that adultery would be one of the biggest temptations I would be confronted with while I was in the navy. ... She expected a lot more than what she got."

"The first thing the Germans did was put me in a small single room in solitary confinement:" C. Grant Ash's prisoner of war information card for his internment in Luft Stalag 3 near Sagan, Germany.

"We knew what we were fighting for! … We were fighting for freedom:" C. Grant Ash (front row, third from left) with his crew.

"The camp was such that they allowed you a certain freedom inside restricted compounds." Prisoners play a hockey game at Luft Stalag 3 where C. Grant Ash was held until a forced march began in January 1945.

"We saw one glider ... that was on fire before it ever hit the ground. When it hit the ground, it just disintegrated."

"Three days later the base got an irate call from one of the local English ladies who had gone out to hang her clothes and had found this bomb between the house and the clothesline." Ted L. Weaver

"Our outfit overran a Nazi concentration camp…. The Nazis had lined them up and shot them, and the bodies were still laying there." Freeman J. Byington in front of some bombed-out barracks that had housed German SS troops, describing the scene he photographed in the next picture.

"My squad got right up next to the wall. We took a bayonet and put it on the end of a gun and poked a helmet up over that wall, and it got blown off immediately." Lincoln R. Whitaker (on left) with a friend in Germany.

 "My squad got right up next to the wall. We took a bayonet and put it on the end of a gun and poked a helmet up over that wall, and it got blown off immediately." Lincoln R. Whitaker (on left) with a friend in Germany.

"I remember the uncertainty of the natives. They had little paper flags and they weren't quite sure… whether to put out a flag for North Korea or South Korea, for the United States, for the United Nations, or …for China:" David R. Lyon (fifth from left) with a medical team from India.

"He had his bags all packed and his orders to go home…. Then he flew one more mission." Richard A. Baldwin.

"I can remember I got home late one night from covering the primary elections for KSL and there was a note from Uncle Sam in my mailbag. It was a great shock." Lynn Packer in Vienam.

"I looked out the right side. Half of my wing was gone, cut right in half. My gas was flowing out and I knew there was no way I was going to make it home." David Folkman

"That's where I got wounded. I suppose I'd call it a premonition that I ignored." Douglas T. Hall (back row, third from left) with part of his American-Montagnard Special Forces team.

"We'd just talked to some prisoners we'd captured. I thought, 'What a waste.''' J. Tom Kallunki, describing the experience of taking these Viet Cong prisoners.

"Every day was true adventure. It was an adventure in life and death…. I didn't have time to be scared. I was too busy keeping other people alive."

"I knew my wife was a strong and capable woman and could manage in my absence. But …it wasn't easy to leave a single parent with a house full of teenagers and younger ones to care for." E. Leroy Gunnell

"There's no glory in war, not a bit." J. Tom Kallunki

"Frankly, I didn't see any freedom. All I saw were poverty, waste, sickness, prostitution, drug soliciting, and all of that." Grant Warren (Photo by Danny Foote)

"It's crunch time. [We] need to make a decision. We've got an armada on its way in and its about thirty seconds out from landing. Are we going to land or not? I look at him and he looks at me." Don G. Andrews

"A friend of mine, Captain Monte Larrigan, and I spent many hours together. He was ? president of the Sunday school in our branch on Tan Son Nhut Air Force base." David L. Gardner (on right) with Larrigan.

"The fourth time I was shot down, I was flying cover for a small operation up along the border of Cambodia." John A. Duff

"I really felt, and still feel, that communism is enough of a threat to humanity as a whole that it's worth the loss of life to oppose it. Freedom is worth fighting for." Richard P. Beard

"A lot of guys took trophies ... I saw one guy who had thirty ears on a string." Chris Veasquez

"There was a lot of frustration in [Vietnam]. … One just wondered why we couldn't use our power to do what we'd been trained to do and eliminate the limiting, self-imposed constraints on how we fought."

"I can remember a Christmas where I just had to go hide because everybody was either stoned or drunk, and if we got overrun, everybody would be killed, so I went and dug a hole and hid the whole night. It was a lonely experience." Danny L. Foote

"It was a badly wounded marine, a radioman, calling for help. The battalion commander personally came up on the radio, … 'Now son, hold on; we're coming to get you. Where are you?' A faint reply, 'I don't know. I'm all alone.'" Howard A. Christy (on left)

"They blindfolded me, but I could see just a little bit. … They were trying to get me to stand on the [American] flag, so they could get a movie picture of it. Just as I got to the flag, I collapsed and leaned over and kissed the flag." Jay R. Jensen

We brought in all of our security and we were walking down a road just like farmers going to work. We walked right into an ambush."

"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." Mike Terry at bat. "As far as bonds, 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." Danny L. Foote (second from left)

Wounded men on a military transport in Vietnam. (Photo by Kirk T. Waldron)

"On 9 July 1972, I had my singularly most anxious experience." John Norton, Jr.