USCG Boot Camp Experience, Vietnam War era

A story by Peter S. Morgan, Jr. from 1969

Peter S. Morgan Jr., Seaman Apprentice - 1969

30 May 2016

Vietnam Veterans Memorial
National Park Service
National Capitol Parks - Central
900 Ohio Drive, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20242

I have posted the Coast Guard recruit names of Richard Joseph Theriaque Jr., Randall Cecil Grey Mattson, and Roger Martin Hudson on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on my visits to Washington, DC. The young men who rest in the graves pictured below, died during my 10 weeks' recruit training in Cape May, New Jersey. I have visited the grave sites in Springfield, MA and McDonough, GA. I have not, as yet, traveled to Baraga, MI for the last visit. Though these men did not make their sacrifices in Vietnam, they and their families have losses similar to those who did. Countless other sacrifices should be recognized in the cost of wars.

Prior generations of my family fought with pride; my paternal grandfather, Philip Morgan, during World War I and my father, Peter S. Morgan, in the U.S. Army Infantry 1943 – 1946. After attending Bates College, and with the Selective Service due to arrive at my doorstep, I chose to enlist in a humanitarian service rather than support the questionable objectives ( later acknowledged by Robert S. McNamara’s In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam ) in Southeast Asia.

My wife and I who raised two sons a generation later, know too well of the value of a continued family legacy. ( Shameful that the United States invaded Iraq during their eligibility, ignoring Dick Cheney’s 1994 warning of a “quagmire.” )

Peter S. Morgan, Jr. / active duty USCG 1969 – 1973
Raymond, Maine 04071

Richard Joseph Theriaque Jr.
enlisted 24 Feb 69, died 22 Mar 69

Randall Cecil Grey Mattson
enlisted 31 Mar 69, died 5 Apr 69

Roger Martin Hudson
enlisted 21 Mar 69, died 8 Apr 69