Interview with Thomas G. Riffe, June 13, 2018
Project: Kentucky Honor Flight Veterans Oral History Project
Interview Summary[Sound quality during introduction is very poor. It normalizes when interview begins.]
Thomas G. Riffe served in the 12th Data Processing Unit in Saigon, Vietnam during the Vietnam War. In this interview, he discusses his awareness of the Civil Rights Movement as it was happening. He talks about dropping out of Western Kentucky University and his awareness of the Vietnam War at the time. He talks about being drafted for the war and gives a detailed overview of his basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He talks about breaking his leg during training, catching pneumonia, getting in a fight, and passing his basic training despite his injuries. He talks about adjusting to Army discipline. He talks about discipline and punishment, physical fitness, food, and drill instructors.
Riffe talks about graduating basic training and being assigned to the 6th Army headquarters at Presidio of San Francisco. Riffe talks about being advised to volunteer to go to Vietnam. He talks about why he was assigned to the 12th Data Processing Unit and their main focus during the war. He describes his experience on the troop ship to Vietnam. He talks about the seasickness, boredom and morale, and potential dangers.
Riffe talks about his first impressions when they landed in Saigon. He talks about the strange dichotomy between how American military were treated by the Vietnamese and Viet Cong, and how American citizens working for private companies were treated.
Interview KeywordCollege environment College students--Attitudes. Education, Higher--Kentucky Universities and colleges. African Americans--Civil rights African Americans--Segregation Childhood Civil rights movements--United States Integration 12th Data Processing Unit Presidio of San Francisco Saigon (Vietnam) Troop ships
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Interview UsageInterviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Riffe, Thomas G. Interview by Jeffrey Suchanek. 13 Jun. 2018. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Riffe, T.G. (2018, June 13). Interview by J. Suchanek. Kentucky Honor Flight Veterans Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Riffe, Thomas G., interview by Jeffrey Suchanek. June 13, 2018, Kentucky Honor Flight Veterans Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt71jw86m199