Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Is This for Real? The Economy After 9/11

Contributed by Bridget Pepe

Is this for Real?  The Economy After 9/11

After the 9/11 attacks the Dow dropped 600 points, causing the 2001 recession to worsen, this also led to a big government spending program which was the War on Terror.  The Hijacker's goal on 9/11 was to destroy the U.S.'s economy by ruining its center of power which was the Pentagon, Wall Street, and the White House.  After the attacks, the stock market closed for four trading days, this was the first time since the Great Depression that this happened.  The Dow dropped 7.13%, and the 617.78 point loss was the Dow's worst drop in one day ever.  The 2001 Recession had originally started in March 2001 after the Y2K scare but was deepened after the attacks.  By November 2001, the threats of war drove the Dow down yet another year to October 9, 2002. Unemployment continued until June 2003 which was at 6%, the peak for that recession. On September 20, 2001 President Bush declared the War on Terror. He said that this would be one of the longest wars anyone would ever see and it would not be one battle but a lengthy campaign.


Below is an interview with my father about the economic aftermath of 9/11.  

When were you affected? 
My business started experiencing the economic down turn in early 2001. The economy seemed to rapidly decline immediately after 9/11. We hit bottom around 2003 and did not recover until late 2005.

How long did it last for your family?
It lasted until about 2006. I needed to hold a second job in early 2003, which I was able to relinquish in early 2006.

Did anyone close to you also go through the same thing?
Many of my customers and one of my neighbors, who works in the financial world was also forced to hold a second job, working with me.

Were the people working for you affected?
Yes, we had a few people left because of poor business.

Were there any extra steps you took to make situations better?
We reduced costs at our company. For example, we moved into a less expensive office, reduced staff, cut travel, reduced medical insurance coverage, and reduced other company benefits.

Do you know if anyone is still affected by the economic downfall after 9/11?
My company is still affected. Many businesses moved out of the Mortlast, the area formed by my company. We saw some recovery from 2004 to 2011. The economy is down again now.

Did you know after the attacks that the economy would be bad?
Yes, we felt it immediately.

Can you explain the day of the attacks?
It was an incredibly sad day. I could not believe that the World Trade Center, just a few miles from my home, was destroyed. The Pentagon was also attacked. The sad feeling of a death in the family stayed with me for several months.

What was going through your head?
I was sad, angry, and wanted revenge at first. After that, I wanted the situation corrected. I was looking for government security and economic recovery.

Was the business immediately affected after the attacks?

How long did it take for you to see how the attacks had weighed down on the economy?

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Gulf War - Operation Desert Storm

Contributed by Cassie Weave

The Gulf War, also known as the Persian Gulf War, First Gulf War, Gulf War I, or the First Iraq War, was fought from August 2, 1990 to February 28, 1991. This war, code named "Operation Desert Storm" from January 17, 1991 to the end of the war, was waged by a coalition force of 34 nations, led by the U.S. This coalition force was authorized by the U.N after Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait. This war was fought mainly by the Air Force, but with great support from the Navy as well.  
After only five weeks of air and missile combat, ground troops began the campaign in Kuwait. On February 27, the coalition forces entered Kuwait City and forced Iraq into a cease-fire. This war reunited the American people and the military, especially after the Vietnam War. Faith in the military's service was restored. 


Below is an interview of my father, Paul Joseph Weaver.  He recounts his experience as a member of the US Navy during the Persian Gulf War. 

What is your current age?
Old. Alright, fine, I’m 45!

How old were you when the war started?
I think I was 23, if I remember correctly. I was in the Navy for two years.

When and where were you born?
June 18, 1967, in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Where do you live now?
Carteret, NJ.

What is your relationship status now, and what was it during the time of the war?
During the war I was dating Debbie, your mother, and now we’ve been married for... eighteen years, I believe.

Do you have any children?
Yes, I have a daughter, Cassandra, and two sons, Benjamin and Andrew.

What is your current occupation?
I am a police officer.

What is your work history?
When I graduated high school I worked in a machine shop in Carteret, then when I was 21 I joined the Navy, after I left the Navy I worked in a mold making shop, and then I worked – after that job – I worked in a machine shop, then after that I became a sheriffs officer, then a police officer.

What is your religion?

What is your education level?
Up to high school.

About the War and Involvement

Can you explain exactly what was happening at this time?
The Gulf War was when Iraq invaded... Kuwait and then a coalition of nations led by the United States decided to kick Iraq out of Kuwait.

What was your actual involvement?
I was in the Navy on board an amphibious assault ship, the U.S.S Raileigh LPD 1, which carried – I think we had over... 600 Marines and 6 Helicopters. Six Apache- No, they were actually Cobra helicopters. And a LCU – landing craft utility – in the weld deck. And two mike six boats, that’s what they were called.  We also did a lot of – sea mines, you know, Iraq planted sea mines, and we took them out of the water. I got to see a couple of them blow up. And when the U.S.S Princeton hit a mine, we were close to them. I was one of the guys who flew over and helped fight those fires.

Were there any scares?
Were we near anything? Well, we were in a mine field, and where we were... the U.S.S Wisconson and Missouri, both battleships were shooting over us. And there was a missile attack that shot over our ship, but a British frigate shot that missile down.

Did you take part in any battles?
Actually, what we did was mostly a, um, how do I word it... We wanted to make Sadam Hussein think that, uh, we were gonna land the Marines we had on the beach so we had a lot of forces protecting the beach and, uh, it was like a fake. We didn’t do any major landings. It took a lot of the soldiers and stuff that we could have used to invade Iraq and he could have used to protect other areas of Iraq away from him. 

How long were you involved with this?
From August to April of... I don’t remember!

What was your job on the ship?
I was, actually, a third class petty officer machinery repairman, and then put in parenthesis, (machinist). I, uh, made things that broke. I made things out of metal and stuff that they needed, that broke, if you know what I mean. Like, if something broke and they didn’t have a new part for it, I made that part.

What medals or ribbons did you recieve?
Well, there’s the combat action ribbon, there’s the Navy unit commendation medal, there’s the national defense medal, sea service ribbon, desert shield and desert storm, which is actually the Southwest Asia service medal, because I got the two stars, and the last one is the Kuwaiti liberation medal. The pin on it was given by the Kuwait government. The medal itself actually has an ounce of gold in it! Which I never actually got, though. I have the ribbon for the medal, but not the medal.

What exactly was your ranking? Y said you’re not an officer. On a scale of one to ten, where would you be?
I would be a four. That’s exactly the right way of putting it, too!

Before I finish, is there anything else you would like to talk about?
Nothing, really. We discussed all of the big stuff!

For more information on the Persian Gulf War, see:
1. "Military.com Resources." Military.com Resources. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2013. http://www.military.com/Resources/HistorySubmittedFileView?file=history_gulfwar.htm.
2. "The Gulf War." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2013.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Immigration from the Philippines

Contributed to Bernadette Leano

My Mom's Immigration from the Philippines

My mom comes from a big family in the Philippines. She was expected to be another politician in her family just like her grandfather and her aunt. She was expected to take care of those workers on her farm along with her 8 other siblings. Though this life sounds a bit glamorous, she wanted to live her own life - make a living for herself. She felt that the only way for her to do that was to seek out further education in the land of opportunity. 


Below is an interview of my mother about her immigration from the Philippines to the United States.

Bernadette: Hearing stories about your childhood and the cultures of the Philippines, how did you leave the comfort of your family?

Lizette: Well, I had been raised by my mother and my grandfather and they always taught me that you should always do what you have to do to succeed and get farther in life. So that is exactly what I did. My oldest sister, my younger sister, and I left the comforting barriers of our farm and we headed for America. Of course it was hard to leave behind, my family, my friends, my school, my home and, especially, my other brothers and sisters, but I wanted to make something of my life and I couldn't see it happening there.

Bernadette: Okay so when you got here, what happened next? Like what did you do? Was it what you wanted or hoped for?

Lizette: Upon getting here, my sisters and I all moved into a house and continued to attend college. I was majoring in engineering at the time. And to answer the second part, of course it was a little tough in the beginning because my sisters and I were not used to being on our own. As children, we had nannies that pretty much raised us in addition to our mom and grandfather. So yes, it was hard at first, but it all worked out in the end.

Bernadette: So do you think that immigrating to America was the best choice for your future?

Lizette: I would have to say yes because without me coming to America, my sisters and I wouldn't have bonded together as much and I wouldn't have been able to further my education as well as I did in an American college rather than one in the Philippines. I also learned that I would be able to support myself without my family’s money. I gained a sense of pride knowing that I could be able to do this all by myself.

Bernadette: Thanks so much for sharing. Is there anything you would like to say in closing?

Lizette: All I would like to say is that though I am from the Philippines, I have learned so much in America and am grateful to be able to be here today.

My Grandfather's Journey from Italy

Contributed by Gabriella Guardascione

During 1935, in Italy, money was scarce.  Most Italians came to America due to the opportunity that was given to them.  They wanted to earn enough money to go back to Italy and buy land.  They tried to recreate the life they had in Italy while in America.  Most of the people that came were men and unskilled peasants.  Most of them were also Catholic.  Italians tried to open up pasta shops, restaurants, and pizzerias.  Because of prejudice against the Italians, their opportunities were limited.  Immigration was decreased due to the Immigration Act of 1924.  The law was against immigrants from eastern and southern Europe.  When Italians returned to America from fighting in WWII, they were accepted into America society.  By them, most Italians decided to move to Australia or Argentina.


My Grandfather, Porfirio Costagliola, came to the United States with his parents for the opportunity to change their lives.  In interviewing him, I discovered what I had not known before.

What made you immigrate to the United States from Italy?
Porfirio: I came here because my father brought us to America.  I went back and forth to Italy and America a few times.  We wanted a better life.

What was going on in Italy during that time period?
Porfirio: The first time we came, in 1935, I don’t remember much.  Italy wasn’t in a bad spot because it was before the war.  The second time we came was in 1947.  We barely had any money to go to the United States.  There was nothing to eat, since it was after the war.

How was life in the United States different from Italy?
Porfirio: In America, it was so much nicer.  The streets were bigger, the people were nicer, and there were more jobs and more money than Italy had.  I hated America though because I missed Italy and my friends.   I had nothing over here and for two years I would cry because of it.  Eventually after going to night school to learn English for four nights a week, I became much more comfortable in society and made friends.

What do you remember doing to help your family?
Porfirio: The first time in America I couldn’t do much because I was too young.  As I got older in Italy, before we left again, I would work on my family’s land helping to plant fruits and vegetables.   At 17 years old, in America, I worked at a Grocery Store as a stock boy.  I often delivered to places like Wall Street and made $28-29 a week, which was different than what I was used to in Italy.  I remember how nice and different the big buildings were compared to Italy.  Then I worked in CBS assembling factory, making televisions.  One day a friend of mine at the Italian club offered me a job as a Longshoreman.  I would watch more people immigrate to the United States and it often reminded me of my time on the ship.   

How did you immigrate here?
Porfirio: My family and I came on a ship called The Rex or in Italian known as the SS Conte di Savoia.

 How was the trip?
Porfirio: I loved the trip.  It was a new, great experience.  It had great food and people.  We even used to play cards at night, bonding over the fact we would be coming into this new country.

How long did it take?
Porfirio: It took seven days to get to the United States.   

Who came to the United States with you?
Porfirio: My entire family came to the United States the first time around.  The second time, my stepmom died, and my father sent my sister, my brother, and I alone to the United States. He wasn’t able to communicate with us because of Italy’s bad relationship with America, but eventually got through.     

For more information on the immigration of Italians to America, see:
"Italian Life in New York." Immigration and Multiculturalism: Essential Primary Sources. Ed. K. Lee Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, and Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 76-78. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.

"99.03.06: The Italian Immigrant Experience in America (1870-1920)." 99.03.06: The Italian Immigrant Experience in America (1870-1920). N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.
"From Europe to America: Immigration Through Family Tales." History of Italian Immigration. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.
McMillian, Peter. "Spartacus Educational." Spartacus Educational. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.
"Immigration: The Italians." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.

Contributed by Jane Lestarchick

Japan after the Bombings of WWII

           Towards the end of World War II, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, followed by the dropping of a bomb on Nagasaki three days later. Both were prominent Japanese cities, now ravaged by the effects of this brand new form of warfare, and were destroyed. Originally, Hiroshima was the home to 90,000 buildings. After the dropping of the bomb, however, only 28,000 remained. Twenty of the city’s 200 doctors were left alive or capable of helping others. The city was perishing as more and more people were dying in the aftermath, lacking food and proper medical attention. The bomb dropped over Nagasaki killed anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 people, exact numbers being unknown as bodies and records were obliterated in the blast. The mountainous region surrounding the city was able to contain damage to a smaller area, protecting the nearby areas from destruction.


Below is an interview of James T. Byrnes about his time in Japan after the dropping of the atomic bombs.  Mr. Byrnes is 86 years old.  He was 17 years old and a member of the US Navy when he was in Japan.  Mr. Byrnes was married and had 9 children: Maureen 64, James 62, Thomas 59, William 56, Patrick 55, Jacqueline 54, John 52, Michelle 49, Allison 44.  He has several grandchildren and great grandchildren:  William 41, James 39, James 30, Jacqueline 25, Sean 23, Courtney 21, Dana 19, Evan 17, Jane 16, Kyle 15, Kathleen 15, Erin 13, Kaitlyn 12, Raymond 12, Tyra 7, Tucker 1. 
Q: When you were in World War II you were in the Navy correct?
A: Yes
Q: And you went to Japan?
A: Yes, went to Japan after the bombing. We were on the way to invade Japan when the bomb was dropped.
Q: So you were in Japan after the war was declared over?
A: Yes, it was about two weeks later.
Q: What was your initial reaction once you got to Japan?
A: The only thing that was left standing was a Temple, everything else had been bombed away. There were no people living in the town, then they started coming down from the hills. That’s where we had our picture taken with the kids.
Q: What town were you in?
A: Sasebo
Q: What was your job when you were there?
A: I was a store keeper, third class. We took care of all supplies and payroll.
Q: How did your time in Japan change your views on the war?
A: It didn’t change my views on the war; we wanted to get the Japanese for bombing Pearl Harbor and killing thousands of people.
Q: How many people from your ship went with you?
A: Half a dozen friends maybe, I really don’t remember.
Q: Do you have anything else to add?
A: We visited a lot of islands out in the Pacific, we were out there for two years. We went to Iwo Jima, Saipan, Guam, Okinawa, Philippines…couldn’t get into the Philippines because when we got there, we were in a typhoon and we couldn’t get off the ship, we just went into the harbor. 
James Byrnes pictured in the center with two other sailors on their ship 

Japanese people coming down from the hills to see the destruction after the bombing

James Byrnes in Panama

James Byrnes pictures as the sailor on the right with two other sailors and Japanese children; Temple is seen in background
For more information on the bombings of Japan, see...

“American bomber drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima.” 2013. The History Channel website. Feb 14 2013,   12:11 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/american-bomber-drops-atomic-bomb-on-hiroshima.

“Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.” 2013. The History Channel website. Feb 14 2013, 9:01 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/atomic-bomb-dropped-on-nagasaki.
Contributed by Roxanne Lee
The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War officially began in 1954, although conflict in the country stemmed back to the 1940’s. The roots of the conflict that started the war can be traced back to the conflict between the United States and the USSR that began with the end of WWII. Japan was occupying Vietnam during World War II the Viet Minh, also known as the League for Independence, formed and fought against Japanese occupation. Japan left the country in 1945. Ho Viet Minh, the founder of the Viet Minh, and his forces seize a city in the North for Vietnam and declare it the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. France backed the overthrown Emperor Bao, which set up state in Southern Vietnam. Treaty negations at Geneva split Vietnam along the 17th Parallel. Emperor Bao was overthrown by Ngo Dinh Diem in the South in 1955, and the US promised to support Diem and South Vietnam, despite his repressive regime.

In 1960, Diem’s opponents in the South formed the National Liberation Front. President Kennedy increased aid to Diem, under the impression that if one Southeast Asian country converted to Communism, more would follow. The U.S. presence in Vietnam increased in 1963 with the assassinations of Diem, Ngo Dinh Nhu, and John F Kennedy. The stage was set for a conflict that would last until 1975 for the United States.

Set forth below is an interview of Jeannette E. Lee, 81 years old and who was in her early forties when the United States entered the Vietnam War. The interview focuses on life at home during the Vietnam War.
What is your name?

Jeannette E. Lee

When where you born?

April 17, 1931.

How old are you at present?


How old were you when the United States entered the Vietnam War?


What did you work as before you retired?

Head Secretary at a Middle School

What was the name of the middle school you worked at?

John Lewis Costley, Sr. Middle School, Hamilton Street, East Orange, NJ.

What is your religion?


What is the extent of your education?

3rd yr. college

How old were your sons when the war was going on?

Jeff; 9, Jon; 6 Bill: 3mos.

Who in our family served during the Vietnam War?

My brother (your great uncle) Jerome C. Waltz

Uncle Jerry entered the U. S. Air Force 1967. He was trained as a Protective Equipment Specialist (for Fighter Pilots). He served 32 months at Denang AFB, Republic of South Vietnam & Kadina AFB , Okinawa. This was a very difficult time for Jerry's & my mother, Dorothy Waltz. In
the almost three years Jerry was overseas Mom's hair went from soft brown to white. She developed high blood pressure. We (his family) were worried/scared for all of the time he was away. Because of the news media we saw the horrors of that war up close. Jerry wrote when he could, his letters were censored .......... we were just happy to hear a positive word from him. When he came home in late 1971 Bill was just a few months old.

How did they respond?

(They were)Too young to understand.

Did you ever think about whether the United States should have been in Vietnam?

At that time I felt that the U. S. should NOT have been involved.

Why did you think the U.S. shouldn't have been involved in the war?

Being the mother of three sons I naturally was (and am) concerned for their safety and well being at all times. I felt then and still do feel that the U. S. acted hastily in entering into the war at Vietnam.

What was news coverage of the war like?

Information was not as available as it is now ......................... Today new is given as it is happening .......... then the news was censored as was the mail.

What kind of TV did you have?

We had one TV (ask Dad the make, I can't remember).

Was there any reports of the war on the radio?

YES !!! There was so much reporting on the war, the number killed, etc. I sometime turned off the news because it was so painful to listen too.

What did you think of the censoring of the news and letters? What did other people think of it?

We all understood the censoring, however with some of my mother's mail from Jerry it was overkill. He was trying to tell her of his tasks, not reporting on the war. Anyone having loved ones over seas had to be frustrated with the censorship.

How much did the War affect your everyday life? did it have any noticeable effect at all?

Then as now (The last 10 years) if you have loved ones involved in the middle eastern conflicts or any overseas assignments any where in the world, you try to go about your regular daily routines .... work, household chores, etc. ....... however, always, your mind and prayers are with that missing family member or friend. All of your thoughts are on them returning safely. Keep in mind there were/are those who were killed in action. This is their family’s worse nightmare. For them there will always be a void in their life.

For more information on the Vietnam War, see:

Coffey, David. "African Americans
in the Vietnam War." English.illinois.edu. Modern American Poetry,n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2013.
Goodman, Walter. "BLACK SOLDIERS
IN VIETNAM." The New York Times. The New York Times, 20 May 1986.Web. 12 Feb. 2013.
"Vietnam Online." PBS.org.
PBS, n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2013.
"Vietnam War Timeline." English.illinois.edu.
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2013.http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/vietnam/timeline.htm.
War." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 12 Feb.2013. http://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war.

Hell No We Won't Go! Working on the Draft Board for the Vietnam War

Contributed by Jamie Siburn

                                    Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was the prolonged struggle between nationalist forces attempting to unify the country of Vietnam under a communist government and the United States, with the aid of the South Vietnamese, attempting to prevent the spread of communism.  Engaged in a war that many viewed as having no way to win, U.S. leaders lost the American public's support for the war.  With an insufficient number of volunteers, the Selective Service System enforced the draft.  Through a volunteer and draft enforced military, the United States had forces directly involved on the ground in Vietnam from 1965-1973.
But there was protest to the draft.  Although protest to conscription had been a feature of all American wars, draft evasion and draft resistance reached a historic peak during the Vietnam War.  Opposition to the war and draft resistance nearly crippled the Selective Service System.  So how was the U.S. government to secure the necessary troops for war?  It created the local draft board.  With nearly 4,200 national local draft boards, its function was to administer and execute the main provisions of the Selective Draft Law…registering, rejecting, and selecting men of military age for legislative enactment.
In the spirit of patriotism, my grandmother took and passed the civil service test.  Much to her surprise (and ultimately her disappointment), she was assigned to a local draft board in her hometown of Springfield, New Jersey.  But her job soon became a conflict of conscience. Feeling a tremendous sense of pride for being employed by her government, she wrestled with the moral challenges of “calling up” men to fight a war which few supported or believed in.   Her job required her to prepare draft notices.  Day after day, she typed notices to men she had known since childhood.  Although the day to day responsibilities of her job challenged her morally…it was the deaths of soldiers she knew that haunted her. 


Below is an interview of LouEllen Stoms, who worked on the Draft Board during the Vietnam War.

Pre-Interview Questions
Date and place of the interview - Saturday, February 16, 2013; Summerfield, Florida
Name of the person being interviewed  - LouEllen Stoms
Interviewee's birth date – January 11, 1941
Names of the people attending the interview (including the interviewer and camera operators) LouEllen Stoms and Jamie Siburn
 Employed?  Who was your employer?  United States Government; Selective Service
Was this a period of war?  If so, which one?  Vietnam War

My grandmother at the time during the Vietnam War.
Personal/Biographical Information
  • What is your name? What was your maiden name?  LouEllen Stoms (Martin)
  • Age? – 72
  • Where were you born and raised?  Springfield, New Jersey
  • What was your family background? Educational background?  Middle class; graduated from Monmouth College (now Monmouth University)
  • Where did you live during the war? Roselle, New Jersey
  • Provide a brief description of your neighborhood or community - Suburban; lived in a garden apartment in a quiet, park-like setting
  • At the time of the war, were you in a relationship, married, or single?  Married
  • What was your spouse's or partner's name and wartime occupation? Walcott “Wally” Becker, Jr.; officer in the United States Navy
  • Did you have children at any time during the war? Yes – 1 daughter
 Employment and the War
  • Were you employed outside the home? If so, what is the name of your employer? Yes; worked for the Selective Service System; Local Board #42
  • Why did you decide to sit for the Civil Service Exam?  Had a family friend who worked for Selective Service System; was optimistic I would be hired if I passed the exam
  • Why did you choose pursuing employment with the government?   I was newly married.  My husband and I needed a second income in order to purchase our first home.  the job offered excellent benefits…my annual salary was $3,185.00 ($65.00 per week)
  • How did you react/respond to your first assignment?  My enthusiasm for my new job quickly faded; eliciting mixed emotions.  I was happy to be employed, but conflicted and sad about sending young men (many that I knew personally) to war
  • What was your job title? Clerk Typist
  • What kind of activities did you perform?  Prepared draft notices; registered men between the ages of 18-25 for Selective Service System.
  • Did you have any specialty at work?  On behalf of the Selective Service System, my boss and I were assigned to a local community review board.  The board was comprised of local area businessmen (those considered to be “pillars of society” – bank CEO, large department store owner, doctor, etc.) and its purpose was to provide a venue for draftees to request an exemption from serving.  (Exemptions included, but were not limited to, married with children, medical, and education) The board met weekly and often had in excess of 30 cases to review each week.  Few exemptions were granted 
  • What special rules or conventions did you have to follow? The Selective Service System reviewed everyone in accordance with a classification code. Every draft card issue identified the card holder’s classification status. 
Available for military service
1AOC ***
Conscientious objectors eligible for military service in noncombatant role
Available for limited military service
Physically, mentally or morally unfit
1OCO ***
Conscientious objectors opposed to both combatant and non-combatant military duty and available for assignment to civilian work
High school student under twenty years of age or college student who has received an order to report for induction; deferred to complete his school year
Deployment deferred; men were not sent to war because their civilian job provided protection on United States soil
Deployment deferred; men were not sent to war because their civilian job was necessary   to national defense (Example – work for Bowing and manufacture war planes; work for Hercules and manufacture ammunition)
Deployment deferred; men necessary to farm labor
Deployment deferred for education; only deferred until final class is taken (many men chose to stay in school indefinitely to avoid the draft)
Deferred because of dependents; included registrants with wife & child
Exemption for veterans (those whose military duty obligation was completed) and sole surviving sons
Exemption for ministers & divinity students
Considered “too old” to serve (26 years old if never deferred or 35 years old for those who served or held a deferment)

*** A conscientious objector is one who is opposed to serving in the armed forces and/or bearing arms on the grounds of moral or religious principles.

My grandfather's draft card for the Vietnam War .
He was classified as  4A. 
 General Questions Regarding the War
  • How did you feel about the war?  Originally, I was supportive of the war.  I was not alone.  At the beginning of the war, there was no need to impose and/or enforce the draft.  Many men volunteered to serve under the assumption that they were suppressing communism in the spirit of democracy. 
  • What was your family or friends' feelings?  Coming from a military family, I was pro-government; therefore, pro-war.  My husband was currently serving in the Navy and my father (and his brothers) had served honorably in World War II.  My friends were mixed in their support.  Many volunteered in the name of patriotism; others were not supportive of the war and reluctant to serve.
  • Did you worry that our side might not win? Not in the beginning.  But as the war lingered on with no end in sight and the death toll (over 50,000 young men) continued to rise, it became apparent to me that we might have entered this war in vain.
  • Did you have family and friends who served in the war? Yes.  And sadly, I was the one who registered most of them for deployment.
  • Did you know anyone who was killed or wounded in the war? Yes.  If killed, the local board was the first to receive news that an area soldier had been killed in action.  Since I had grown up in the area and many of the deployed soldiers were friends and/or acquaintances, I sadly knew lots of soldiers killed in the war.  To further compound my sadness; upon the death of a soldier the local board purged his file.  It was my job to purge the files.  It was a sad, emotional circle….establishing an active file for a young, courageous soldier only to pull it and stamp it “deceased” upon his death.     
  • Did you think it was right for America to be at war?  In the beginning, many believed the war was justified in an effort to suppress communism.  But over time, enthusiasm and support for the war waned.  Ultimately, the war took on a negative connotation, inspiring anti-war protests and rallies.  Even sadder…those serving in the war were wrongly blamed and did not garner the respect and admiration they so deeply deserved.What did you think about the enemy?  As a patriotic citizen and employee of the United States Government, I believed any person or group promoting communism should be stopped. Of course, my preference would be non-violent.
  • How did you feel about war news from television? First and foremost, there were only a few television stations (and no cable) during this period.  But I did find it interesting that channels did vary on their presentation and disclosure of information depending upon its political views. 
  • How did you feel about antiwar protests?  In accordance with the First Amendment, I believe everyone has the right to express their thoughts and opinions.  I am not opposed to protests; however I prefer them to be organized and peaceful. Unfortunately, many of the protests during this period were violent. 
  • Did you trust and support American civilian and military leaders?  Yes.  As an employee of the United States Government and a husband in active military service, I trusted and supported American civilian and military leadership.

 Postwar Experiences
  • Did you keep your job after the war?  Yes and No.  While I still worked for the United States government, my husband had been transferred.  At the end of the war, I was working on a marine base in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Although the job title remained the same, I was no longer sending young men into battle.  Instead I was welcoming them home.  Unfortunately many returned home injured or in caskets.   
  • Have you visited any memorials or participated in any commemorations of the war?  Yes, I have visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC.  Sadly, I know many names memorialized at the site. 
Closing Questions
Is there anything you wanted to talk about that we didn't get to?  It is important for today’s youth to know that in the beginning of the war there was a feverish camaraderie …a “pro-America” spirit to suppress communism.  Although the war did not end as many hoped, igniting violent protests and anti-war sentiment, we must never forget the brave men who served, sacrificing their lives on behalf of our nation and those yearning for democracy.  

For more information on the Vietnam War and the Draft, see:

Goldenberg, Susan. "Appeal for Draft Board Volunteers Revives Memories of Vietnam Era."
The Guardian. N.p., 4 Nov. 2003. Web. 11 Feb. 2013. <http://www.guardian.co.uk>.

"How the Draft has Changed Since Vietnam." Selective Service System. United States Government,
30 Apr. 2002. Web. 11 Feb. 2013. <http://www.sss.gov>.

Kindig, Jessie. "Vietnam - Draft Resistence." Antiwar and Radical History Project. N.p., 2008. Web.
11 Feb. 2013. <http://www.dept.washington.edu>.

Rosenberg, Jennifer. "Vietnam War." About.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

"Vietnam War." History.com. A & E Network Digital, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.