Black Veterans Recall Past

They played an important role in America’s history but Black army veterans don't like to talk about it.

Around 1.2 million Black men enlisted during the second World War and almost 300,000 African Americans served in Vietnam. Many of them returned from war with serious health issues, many Black soldiers had been victimized before, during and after the war. That’s what Black veterans tell.

“It was tough over there in Korea,” says World War ll veteran Willie James Johnson.

“Things that sort of hurt me was when we got back to the states we had to part.”

“Well, things were kind of rough over there because we mostly stayed in small groups and small groups use to catch the devil,” says Joseph Hall who was fighting in Vietnam.

“Especially if you get ambushed or going after an ambush, so I have seen a lot of people get wounded and some didn’t make it you know. It was kind of rough over there fighting in the jungle.”

“I am going blind right now due to the Vietnam War, and I have seen numerous doctors, they say there is nothing that they can do for me to get my sight back or even maintain it,” says veteran Larry Payton.

Blacks suffered 12.5 percent of the deaths during the conflict at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5 percent of the total population. But still nowadays about one in five soldiers are Black. Will these soldiers have better recollections if the have to go to one more war to Syria or anywhere else?

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