Born: Amarillo, Texas, 1950 Served in Vietnam, U.S. Marine Corps 3d Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment 1st Marine Division, I Corps Radio Operator and Forward Observer, 1969-70
From the Artist:
From letters, 1985 and 1995:
My feelings about the war, then as now, were intense and complex, sometimes contradictory. I grew old there, but that's not all; maybe that's the least of it. The war compelled me. I still think about it daily (though it has become something different than before); it shaped me in ways that I'm still discovering. I'm privileged to have it so.
There is a vast difference between the experience of a grunt and a door gunner, an engineer and a brown-water sailor. The Delta wasn't like the DMZ and 1965 wasn't like 1968. These drawings are of my war, in I Corps in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some were mailed home in letters; others I carried with me; and I did still others back in the World. Although I didn't plan it, they now seem to me a record of that time: routine activities, sharp adrenaline rushes, small joys, death and fear and isolation. Drawing for me was a means of recording and relating what I was experiencing.
Gook Kid:"Hearts and Minds" is what we were supposed to think, but "gook kid" is what we saw. The younger ones liked to play; the older ones cadged c-rats and set booby traps. Friendly villagers smiled a lot and bowed; hostiles were sullen. Those caught in the middle tried to be invisible.