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Title:Willie James Maffett's interview for the Veterans History Project at Atlanta History Center
Duration:01:14:11
Viewed:13,820
Published:12-04-2021
Source:Youtube

We welcome your comments on this interview at VeteransHistoryProject@AtlantaHistoryCenter.com Catalog number: VIS 201.0695 In this interview, Willie Maffett recalls his experiences serving in the United States Army in the Vietnam War. He describes growing up in rural Alabama and his father's gentle leadership. He remembers attending segregated schools and how his father organized the first bus service for African American school children in their community. He attended college as a student athlete, but dropped out to earn enough money to continue attending and recalls getting his draft notice. He enlisted in the Army in order to secure his choice of duty stations and describes the induction center and his subsequent basic training in great detail. He recalls his first assignments in Germany, serving as a truck driver and as a courier. He remembers getting orders to Vietnam and describes his duties there, training Vietnamese soldiers to manage US Army maintenance records on their vehicles and heavy equipment. He recalls the Vietnamese people who worked in Army camps and how they were sometimes treated by US troops. He describes an incident when a Vietnamese woman hid him and his friends from North Vietnamese troops, saving their lives. He remembers racial tensions in Vietnam and the propaganda used by the North Vietnamese to encourage African American troops to rebel. He expresses his feelings about his service and his pride in being a Vietnam veteran.

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