History, oral history, the vietnam war, veterans, memory, draft, draftee, draftees, draft resistance, service personnel, conscription
Many historians have conducted oral history interviews with Vietnam War veterans in an attempt to offer a more personal perspective to the study of the Vietnam War; however, most historians do not consciously differentiate between drafted and volunteer veterans. Identifying whether a veteran was drafted into service or volunteered is critical because the extent to which this service was voluntary or coerced may affect the way a veteran remembers his military service. By conducting oral histories, one can consciously delineate service members who volunteered as opposed to those who were drafted to determine if the veterans‟ experiences change based on the nature of their entry into the military. Additionally, examining the implementation of a national draft and its effects on service members‟ experiences will offer a better understanding of American military history. While much of the attention of scholars has been on drafted soldiers in Vietnam, little research has been conducted on the experience of the volunteer soldier. This study relies on oral history interviews conducted with volunteer and drafted service members of the Vietnam War to determine if there were differences between draftees and volunteers based on their entrance into the military. The research and oral history interviews with the two veteran groups establishes that the dissent detailed by draft protesters was not always the case and service members, volunteers and draftees alike, more often than not accepted their military service. The interviewed veterans‟ responses suggest that resistance to military service during the Vietnam War may not have been as great as one might think given the attention that has been placed on the anti-draft movement.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
History; Public History
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Wilt, Ashley, "Entering Nam: A Comparative Study Of The Entrance Experiences Of Volunteer And Drafted Service Members Into The Military During The Vietnam War" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 2172.