Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM Korea

Charles Vicari | Multiple Units - Marines

5:01   |   While walking past a recruiting office, Charles Vicari made a spur of the moment decision to join the Marine Corps. When the Korean War broke out, he volunteered for duty on the west coast to replace Marines that had been sent there. He was told the duty may be a little further than the west coast.

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Videos ( 11 )
Korea
Vietnam
  • Charles Vicari  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  5:00

    In 1951, Charles Vicari returned to duty after recovering from the wound he received in Korea. His enlistment was up in a matter of months, but he didn't find civilian life to his liking so he re-enlisted. When 1965 rolled around, he had a plum post, but President Johnson decided he was needed in Vietnam.

  • Charles Vicari  |  Vietnam  |  1st Marine Division  |  5:35

    As he waited to step foot in Vietnam for the first time, Charles Vicari was obsessed with the thought of stepping in a punji pit. Then he jumped off the helicopter and...no punji pit. Once he was over that, he settled into his role as mortar platoon sergeant.

  • Charles Vicari  |  Vietnam  |  1st Marine Division  |  5:19

    It was different from any other war in Vietnam. There were no front lines and the enemy could be anywhere. That's what Charles Vicari had to deal with as a Marine gunnery sergeant. He was also perplexed by the people he was there to help, like the Vietnamese militia member who wanted compensation for something that the Viet Cong did.

  • Charles Vicari  |  Vietnam  |  1st Marine Division  |  5:10

    Charles Vicari already had experience in a Headquarters and Service company, so when he was offered the job as H&S gunnery sergeant while he was in Vietnam, he jumped at the chance. If they wanted him to not get shot at, it was fine with him.

  • Charles Vicari  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  5:32

    When he got near the end of his Vietnam tour, Charles Vicari could not sleep, so the medical officer gave him some medication. This became a problem one night, when a mortar barrage came in. When his time was up, he finished up a career in the Marines in a much less dangerous North Carolina.

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