Born Wilmington, Delaware, 1946 Served in Vietnam, U.S. Navy Binh Thuy Naval Support Base Phong Dinh Province, Mekong Delta, Radio Operator, 1967-68
From the Artist:
From a letter, 1982:
I was brought up on John Wayne war movies, collected World War II relics, and, with the assistance of mother, God, country, and Walt Disney, was prepared early to enlist.
I was in country December 1967 to December 1968. I landed at Tan Son Nhut airport at 3:00 a.m. in dress blues. The first things I noticed was the heat and the smell of burning s***, garbage, and jungle. After a week in Cholon, I was assigned to Binh Thuy, in the Delta.
...I watched young men get killed, wounded, mutilated, and driven a bit crazy; become alcoholics and smack addicts. After fourteen years, I still have it all inside. It'll never go away. So it goes.
I walked point, stood security, stood radio watch, rode shotgun on helicopter fuel trucks, and got into alcohol and drugs. I watched a lot of people get blown away.
I got home and the freaks gave me s***, the straights gave me s***, and everyone else washed their hands of the responsibility for their own failure. The only people I could talk to for years were veterans.
I was told in art school not to do any "war art." My instructors (with two exceptions) were totally against anything so banal. I still do Vietnam-related work; I probably always will.