Streaming Media


Oral History interview of John Bonaccorso. Interview conducted by Dunn, Carl Allen; Valentich, Melanie at University of Central Florida Main Campus Library.


0:01 Introduction, family background; 1:45 Joining the Army then switching to Navy; 2:30 Reasons why he joined the service; 3:40 First assignments in the military; 4:55 Receiving specialized training in Navy; 5:30 Adjustment to military lifestyle; 7:20 Preparation and training for 1991 Gulf War; 9:15 Reflections on September 11, 2001 attacks; 11:20 Learning about Iraq prior to deployment in 2004; 12:50 Deployment to Iraq; 13:30 First assignment in Iraq and first impressions; 15:00 Getting used to new surroundings in Iraq; 16:10 Change in initial assignment; 18:20 Working with local Iraqi laborers; 19:20 Involved in a mortar attack;20:50 Forming friendships with Iraqi people; 22:15 Teaching locals to build; 23:05 Redeployed to Iraq in 2008; 23:35 Differences between first trip in 2004 and return in 2008; 24:50 Locations visited on second tour; 26:10 Difficulties with Marines high suicide rates; 27:15 Readjustment to civilian life; 28:20 Losing friends he served with; 29:20 Keeping in touch with loved ones while in Iraq; 31:20 Decision to leave military; 32:50 Return to school as an older student and future goals; 34:20 How Iraq changed his life; 35:05 Missing military life; 36:15 Misconceptions of U.S. involvement in Iraq; 38:00 Hopes regarding the future of Iraq; 39:15 Receiving military commendation medals; 40:00 Reflections on the day of the mortar attack; 43:20 Reflections on Iraqi people and their lifestyles.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Mount Vernon (N.Y.)





Home State

New York

War or Conflict

Operation Iraqi Freedom



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Navy

Unit of Service

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 20-4

Highest Rank

Master Chief Petty Officer; MCPO

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury



Iraq Campaign


Navy Commendation Medal


The amount of construction done.


Awarded Navy Commendation Medal several times.

City of Birth

Mount Vernon

Country of Birth

United States


Dunn, Carl Allen; Valentich, Melanie

Interview Date


Location of Interview

University of Central Florida Main Campus Library.


Bonaccorso, John T.; Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Personal Narratives; Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present -- Personal Narratives; United States. Navy

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Dunn, Carl Allen; Valentich, Melanie

Length of Interview

47 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida


Video; MovingImage


All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576.


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type