We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans, from World War II to the War in Iraq
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The Greatest Generation meets Bloods in this revealing oral history of the unrecognized contributions of African American veterans.
Award-winning journalist Yvonne Latty never bothered to find out the extent of her father's service until it was almost too late. Inspired by his moving story -- and eager to uncover the little-known stories of other black veterans, from those who served in the Second World War to the War in Iraq -- Latty set about interviewing veterans of every stripe: men and women; army, navy, and air force personnel; prisoners of war; and brigadier generals.
In a book that has sparked discussions in homes, schools, and churches across America, Latty, along with acclaimed photographer Ron Tarver, captures not only what was unique about the experiences of more than two dozen veterans but also why it is important for these stories to be recorded. Whether it's the story of a black medic on Omaha Beach or a nurse who ferried wounded soldiers by heli-copter to medical centers throughout Asia during the Vietnam War, We Were There is a must-have for every black home, military enthusiast, and American patriot.
took the whole company and set us up on a hill and then took a squad of about ten of us to shake up the enemy. There was supposed to be five or six of them taking food from civilians in the village. The ten of us took off across the rice paddy field. When we entered the village we saw what looked like the whole Chinese army. There were about six or seven hundred of them coming out of the village like rodents. We were trapped. When the company saw the Chinese, they started firing at them, and we
Bliss, Texas. I was the mess officer. One time our unit drove from Texas to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The first night out in Van Horn, Texas, I had to write up a list of supplies. The men had wanted certain things we didn’t have. So some of the other officers and I went into a drugstore and started buying what we needed. We spent hundreds of dollars, and the store manager was happy. So I sat down at the counter to eat an ice cream cone and the sheriff, who was in the store, turned pale and
longer than the mandatory time. It made it so I could never really feel comfortable. A lot of the GIs both black and white were doing drugs like opium, heroin, and marijuana. It was a way to escape the craziness and uncertainty of Vietnam. The GIs would just go downtown and buy it or go and visit an opium den. But what was abused the most was alcohol. A lot of GIs had drinking problems. They say God protects babies and fools. I don’t know which I was. I guess I was a baby and a fool, because
come out. I don’t want you mixing.” He gave me a buzzer to ring if I needed anything. After a while I needed to go to the bathroom, and I rang it. The porter came in and pulled a green velvet drape off of something and it was a toilet; I couldn’t even leave to go to the bathroom. When the train stopped, he would rush me out to whatever greasy spoon was at the station so I could buy something to eat. I wasn’t allowed in the dining car. When we finally got to Fort Bragg he said to me, “I am
have time to tell her I was all right. I work for American Airlines, and word was out that it was an American airplane and a United airplane that crashed. My friends got worried. I knew the flight attendants onboard those airplanes. After we came down, we had to have a scotch and say, What the hell is going on? It was the closest feeling I ever had as a man of being violated. The whole country felt violated and confused. For three months straight I only had only twelve hours off, a day to go