“One Day You Have To Deal With It”: Duty, Vietnam, And The Trauma Of War

Paul Gregg


Paul Gregg grew up in Newport, Tennessee, and was drafted in 1970. He completed Basic Training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina and felt that his Drill Sergeant was great. His experience at Ft. McClellan, Alabama, for Advanced Infantry Training was different, however, and he found the leadership there to be “mean-spirited.” As he was preparing to deploy to Vietnam, he had some reservations and seriously considered going AWOL, but after reflecting on how he was raised, he considered it his duty to go. Concluding he was honor-bound to deploy, he got on the plane. Arriving in Vietnam, he carried the M-79 grenade launcher, and was still fairly inexperienced when the company entered Cambodia. After returning from Vietnam, he took a job working in the Post Office, and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress. In this interview, he talks about his childhood, being drafted, training, and deploying to Vietnam. He provides his impressions on some of the operations he was in, and focuses on Cambodia. He describes loading up with extra ammunition, and the large number of helicopters assembled to carry troops across the border. He discusses some of the people he served with, and some of the casualties the unit suffered. He reflects on capturing a prisoner, and the emotions he felt in combat. Finally, he examines his life after leaving the military, and what his service means to him.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Camaraderie Courage Honor Military Techniques Wartime Decisions Returning from War PTSD Patriotism Morale
interviewer David Siry
date 16 April 2018


name Paul Gregg
service Infantry
unit 2nd Platoon, D / 1-5 Cavalry
service dates 1970 1971