James R. Peterson describes growing up in Choteau County, Montana, after his parents immigrated to the United States from Sweden. He talks about attending the University of Montana during the beginning of the Vietnam War, and explains how a financial emergency resulted in him being drafted. He talks about being assigned to learn Vietnamese before he was stationed in Di An, Vietnam. Peterson recalls working closely with U.S. and Vietnamese security forces to identify and eliminate the Vietcong. He also mentions being awarded a bronze star for meritorious achievement during his four-month service. Peterson concludes by noting the importance of linguistics to military operations as well as the positive effects that come with learning another language and culture.
Vietnam War (1955-1975); Vietcong; Central Intelligence Agency [CIA]; Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI]; United States Army; Linguistics, military
U.S. Military Veterans’ Interviews Oral History Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula
University of Montana-Missoula. Mansfield Library
Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Oral History Number
1 sound file (00:56:17 min.) digital + 1 transcript (12 p.: 28 cm.)
Peterson, James R., "James R. Peterson Interview" (2012). U.S. Military Veterans’ Interviews Oral History Collection. 3.