Coming To Terms With The Past: A Friendship Forged In Battle That Has Lasted Over Half A Century

Leland Bryant and Paul Gregg


Paul Gregg (left) and Leland Bryant (right) met in Oakland, California, prior to deploying to Vietnam as a result of a “mistake” each one had made. Lee had only been given a few days travel time to get from AIT (Advanced Infantry Training) at Ft. Lewis, Washington, to the terminal at Oakland, California, but instead went AWOL for 30 days to visit home in Pennsylvania. When he finally returned to Oakland, he received a Field Grade Article 15. Paul Gregg, from east Tennessee, contemplated going to Canada instead of Vietnam, so he delayed reporting for a day while he thought over his options. He considered running to Canada to be dishonorable, and the next morning he reported to Oakland. He and Lee met in the room waiting for their Article 15s together. Next, they deployed together, and were both assigned to D/1-5 Cavalry. Their friendship continued to develop throughout their service in Vietnam and Cambodia. They returned to the United States on the same day, but on different planes. Lee did not want to return to Pennsylvania immediately, so he went to Newport, Tennessee, with Paul. Throughout the years, they remained in contact, each helping the other with issues they were having related to their service in Vietnam, and working through their problems together. According to Paul, “If I needed somebody to pull me up out of a very deep depression, I knew [Lee] would be there.” Eventually, Paul recommended that Lee seek therapy as well. He also suggested that Lee begin attending unit reunions, which has benefitted them both. It has helped Lee deal with anger issues and has helped him remember past events. Paul and Lee formed a relationship that began in a very stressful time. It has lasted over 50 years and helped them both reconcile their experiences from the Vietnam War.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Camaraderie PTSD Returning from War Injuries Military Family Life After Military
interviewer David Siry
date 12 June 2023


name Leland Bryant and Paul Gregg
service Infantry
unit D / 1-5 Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division
specialty Relationship and Post Traumatic Stress