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Robin Bartlett: Vietnam Combat

Fascinating People Fascinating Places

Daniel Mainwaring

Documentary, Society & Culture:documentary, Society & Culture, History

51.1K Ratings

🗓️ 23 September 2023

⏱️ 29 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Like so many young men in the late 60s and 70s, Robin Bartlett -- fresh out of college found himself in Vietnam. Despite coming from a family with a military pedigree he had other plans for his life. But, when duty called he answered and found himself thrust into a leadership position among youthful men. His book, Vietnam Combat: Firefights and Writing History, is a candid account of his own experiences in the conflict. In this episode, I speak with Robin about the harrowing incidents he endured. The tragedies he was faced with. The manner in which young men like him were often harshly treated upon their return home. And, despite the circumstances of his story, there is even time for some light-hearted recollections. You can hear his whole story on his website: RobinBartlettauthor.com From there you can also get an autographed copy of his evocative book with free shipping. Music and sound effects: Pixabay In the next episode, I speak with award-winning author Dr Ian Hodges of the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs about the oft-overlooked experience of the Aussies in Vietnam.

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This evening I came here to speak to you about Vietnam.


I do not have to tell you that our people are profoundly concerned about that struggle.


In the late 1960s at the height of the Cold War, Robin Bartlett, the young American just out of college, like so many of his countrymen, found himself serving in Vietnam.


Robin provides a detailed and candid look at his experiences in the conflict in his book,


Vietnam Combat Firefights in writing history, about his experiences as a young man thrust into a leadership position


and forced to make life or death decisions on a daily basis only like so many veterans from Vietnam to return home having proudly


served the country to anything but a hero's welcome. Robin, I don't often focus an episode on a particular historical topic just based around one person's, you know,


recollections of those events.


But having read your book, which I found extraordinary and very evocative,


so I'm really excited to have you on because I feel like you have a really nuanced perspective in your book and so from that point let's jump right in


Based on your service in Vietnam and the military pedigree in your family a lot of people might think that it was always just


predestined for you to follow that path.


By reading your book you made it clear that originally you had no


intention of going into the military, correct? My grandfather went to West Point and


my father went to West Point and my brother went to West Point. My father got me an appointment


to West Point and I said no. I've had enough of the military. I went to 13 elementary and


middle schools and four high schools and I said enough already


but as I went through college the Vietnam War started to build up and my family took it very seriously that we were


in service to our country and those words really meant something to us we were in


service. I answered the phone at home, Colonel Bartlett's


quarters, may I help you, sir? That's how I answered the phone as a civilian. I decided to go into


the ROTC program. It was second nature to me and then at the ripe age of 21, you know, with a college degree and being brilliant at the age of 21 knowing everything there was to know. I really


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