Ron Dorsey


As Interviewed by Samya Chauhan, March 10, 2019

Ron Dorsey: In His Own Words

This is Ron Dorsey, a U.S Marine Corps veteran who served in the Vietnam War from 1968-1969, on his thoughts about the Vietnam War and his experiences serving during the Vietnam War.

Countries fall, fall, fall and eventually itís going to get to us. So, the whole idea [of the Vietnam War] was to fight them away from our country, stop them away before they get too close to us. We were going to stop them in Vietnam -- we were going to stop the flow of communism. That was our plan. I bought that and thatís why I enlisted, to fight for my country.

[Mr. Dorsey also said that when he went to enlist he wanted to go to the Vietnam War. So, he told the person at the enlistment booth that thatís where he wanted to go and the person just laughed. He laughed because he knew that while the Vietnam War was extremely dangerous, thatís exactly the place they were in desperate need of soldiers and Mr. Dorsey would most likely end up in Vietnam whether he wanted to go there or not.]

However, once I got there and I saw how the war was conducted, we were not in there to win.

[In World War II, success was measured by the amount of ground captured, but not in the Vietnam War.]

You make work days and lose lots of men but take this hill, and the next day you leave the hill and you got nothing. Then as soon as we leave they come back. So, thereís no possession of ground. So the only way they [high ranking officials and countries] could judge, or chose to judge, that you accomplished anything was how many dead bodies

[Mr. Dorsey also states that there was no clear line of who was considered an ďenemy.Ē If someone wore a symbol of the other side or simply looked like they were against them, they were considered an enemy. Age didnít matter in consideration of who is an enemy. But many times innocent people would get caught in the middle of fire and in the long run it ďdidnít matterĒ -- because all that matters is what was accomplished that day. At times kids would get caught and as much as he wanted to, there was nothing he could do about that to prevent it from happening again.]

We were not in there to win, and so I got a little bitter about the whole thing, because I lost a lot of good friends. [The total number of casualties was over 58,000. Many of the casualties being innocent soldiers who went in to help protect and serve their country.] I was pro-war until I saw how it was conducted [As a typical civilian you were taught that being a soldier is amazing. You were told that you would be admired and respected by everyone, but the sad reality is much worse than what civilians were being told by propaganda ads.] Then I saw that it was not pro-soldier. Going to fight for your country is very noble. But when you see that your country is really not backing you so much, then itís just a matter of a band of guys [fellow soldiers and friends] and you become a little family and, by God, you are going to do your best for everyone to come home safely.

[When Mr. Dorsey came home he was a changed person. The war had put life for him into a different perspective. He dropped out of his major in college and decided to work the night shift at a factory where he could be alone and isolated from everyone else. For Mr. Dorsey and many other soldiers the war changed their life forever, for better or for worse.]