Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM Vietnam

Tracy Sheils | 1st Marine Regiment

5:21   |   Tracy Sheils joined the Marine Corps because he thought it was the right thing to do. He had friends going off to Vietnam and he could think of no reason he shouldn't too.

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Keywords   :     Tracy Sheils    Geneva NY    Vietnam    Parris Island    Camp LeJeune    San Diego CA

Videos ( 5 )
Vietnam
  • Tracy Sheils  |  Vietnam  |  1st Marine Regiment  |  5:12

    He thought it was hot when he stopped in Hawaii, but when Tracy Sheils got to Vietnam, he found out what hot really is. His 2nd night there, the base was targeted in a rocket attack. That's when he found out what scared really is. Soon, he would see action in Hue and the A Shau Valley, and earn a combat promotion.

  • Tracy Sheils  |  Vietnam  |  1st Marine Regiment  |  3:40

    He was called to the command post where there was a badly wounded Marine laying on the floor. Tracy Sheils was ordered to give the man mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but he saw immediately that the man was dead. "Captain, he's dead." What happened then angers Sheils to this day, and the incident was dramatized in a movie.

  • Tracy Sheils  |  Vietnam  |  1st Marine Regiment  |  3:52

    Sgt. Tracy Sheils never had to pull rank. He had rank, meaning his men respected him and carried out his orders. His mother was concerned about his brothers getting drafted and sent to Vietnam and so was Sheils. He didn't think they had the makeup to survive in that war, unlike the Marines in his unit.

  • Tracy Sheils  |  Vietnam  |  1st Marine Regiment  |  6:14

    His one trip to the hospital was memorable. Fed up with the chaos and screaming, Tracy Sheils couldn't wait to get back to his unit. He talks about surviving an ambush, how he took up smoking and why that was a good thing, and why his flak jacket was worthless.

  • Tracy Sheils  |  Vietnam  |  1st Marine Regiment  |  3:43

    To Tracy Sheils, Vietnam was not a bad thing and it had a noble purpose, stopping the spread of Communism. He had to go home in civilian clothes to avoid any trouble and it did not sit well with him. Neither does the prosecution of Americans such as Lt. William Calley.

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