From Jim O’Neill, Hillsboro, Illinois: I was a draftee at the Pentagon, working as a clerk in the OSD Comptroller’s office. This office was the official scorekeeper for anything Vietnam and the last thing I did was file every casualty report for each soldier killed or reported missing from 9/8/1968 to 12/12/1969 and I read every one to see if I knew them. At the same time I was grateful it was not me, knowing full well it it could have been me…I watched the evening news faithfully, especially the nite the weekly casualties were reported. Prior to Nixon the numbers were consistent with what I knew but I noticed that when casualties were high the numbers were spread out over several reporting periods.
[By Mayday he had been released from service] I remember riding over Memorial Bridge, which was lined by Army troops with fixed bayonets… I was disgusted and near tears as I watched this take place.
I lived in the DC area until 2004. I stopped at the Vietnam memorial many times but I never finished a walk by the Wall because I broke down.