From February 1969 through February 1970, Richard West served as a Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers during the Vietnam War. His job was to build bridges and...
SC Vietnam Veteran Reflects on His Time Served as a B-52 Navigator
“I think it was a part, something for all of us. I can’t speak for anyone except myself, but I think it’s something that affects us all, in terms of our own personal maturity, especially at a young age, and it sort of stays with you always,” says Boyd Gilbert, Vietnam Veteran and B-52 Navigator from 1970 to 1973.
He discusses his involvement in Linebacker II, the mission that made the North Vietnamese ask for a ceasefire and that brought them back to the peace negotiations.
When reflecting on his time in the military, Gilbert explains, “it changed me because I really learned how insignificant I was, and I didn’t get a vote to whether I liked that feeling or not, it was there. No one can experience that, in whatever form they experience that in, without being humbled a little bit, and I needed that.”
The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, premieres on September 17 on South Carolina ETV. Click here to view more stories and to submit your Vietnam memory.
Stock video provided by VUSschneider & TheArchivalCollection / Pond5