Eric Gustafsson

Biography:

Eric Gustafsson is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He was born in Los Angeles, California on August 6, 1950. He was drafted and served in the Army from November 18, 1968 to June 23, 1970. Gustafsson’s highest rank was E-4. He served in Company D 2nd Battalion, the 7th Cavalry and the 1st Air Cavalry in the locations of Fort Ord in California, Vietnam and Cambodia. The medals and service awards he received were a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and an award for combat infantry.

 

Audio Recording of Interview:

Minute Markers and Topics of Audio Recording of Interview

0:20     Early life and family

1:00     Life before entering the service

1:30     Family members in the military

1:50     Volunteered for the draft with friends

3:00     Basic training and adaptation to military life

6:40     Entry into Vietnam

8:10     Conflicts on the front lines

10:00   Friendships formed and lost

11:30   On leave and “R and R” experiences

14:40   Care packages from family

16:50   Left service after time in Vietnam

18:40   Reaction of family and community upon return home

21:30   Adjusting back to civilian life, coping with shell shock

21:30   Contact with veterans, veteran organizations

25:00   Lessons and effects of the war

31:40   Experiences on the Vietnam and Cambodia border

36:10   Coping with men who lost lives in war

37:50   More war experiences and negative feelings towards warfare in general based on service

40:10   No memorials to dead in Vietnam occurred during war

42:40   Lack of disregard for punishment of troops in Vietnam

47:40   Tragic memories of service easier to recall than pleasant memories

49:00   Submitted photographs explained (no photos were taken of scenes of war and destruction)

 

Photographs:

 

Wartime Correspondence:

 

Other documents and images related to military service:

 

Medals and Recognition:

 

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