“So Much You Don’t Know”: The Experience Of Combat In Vietnam

Michael Perry


Michael Perry was born in Florida, but grew up on a farm in Eddyville, Iowa. He graduated from high school in 1963, and joined the Army in 1965 with his younger brother Dan. Part of what drove him to success in basic training and airborne school was the spirit of competition with his brother. In May, 1967, he deployed to Vietnam, and was assigned to 3rd Platoon, C Company, 2nd Battalion, of the 502nd Infantry, in the 101st Airborne Division. Jack Keane, later a General, was his Platoon Leader. He immediately felt comfortable in the platoon, and eventually became the Radio Telephone Operator (RTO) for the Platoon Sergeant. By August, he was a Squad Leader. During his tour in Vietnam, he was wounded twice, once being impaled by a punji stick. He was on R&R during the Tet Offensive, and later received a Distinguished Service Cross. In this interview, he describes his childhood, and entering the military with his brother. He discusses, in detail, his service in Vietnam, and recalls some of those he served with, including George E. Overshine, who was killed on September 29, 1967, in Quang Tin province. Finally, he talks about what his service means to him.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Leadership Camaraderie Military Techniques Injuries Returning from War
interviewer David Siry
date 17 August 2018


name Michael Perry
service Infantry
unit C Co, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry
specialty Distinguished Service Cross / 2x Purple Hearts E5
service dates 1965 1968