Learn about the wide variety of reasons that Americans chose to fight in the Vietnam war, including men who supported and opposed U.S. involvement in Vietnam, in Lesson Three of Vietnam War Oral History Lesson Plans.
Joseph Rank attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana during the Vietnam War before he joined the Navy. While in college, he had a roommate with a very different view of the Vietnam conflict, yet they both remained friends. Paul Wisovaty lived in Taylorville, Illinois and believed the United States was fighting to contain communism, but ended up fighting for his friends during his time in Vietnam. Richard Hertel of Milladore, Wisconsin says he was trained to kill efficiently and was given no information about the politics of the war, while Robert Ritter of Monticello, Illinois believed in the American cause.