A Minnesota PBS Initiative

I felt like a ticking time bomb

Please note: This interview contains sensitive content that some may find disturbing. 

Stephen Brown, a 100% disabled combat vet, remembers arriving in Vietnam on Northwest Orient Airlines and how beautiful it was. “It was like Paradise.” But he also recalls haunting memories of his time on the Perfume River during the Tet Offensive at Hue City, sharing stories that bring him to tears. 

“Coming back was it’s own Hell. We weren’t respected.” He experienced anger and rage, saying, “I felt like a ticking time bomb.” But, Brown dealt with his PTSD and pored himself into his work as a member of the team that created the Minnesota Vietnam Veterans Memorial in St. Paul. 

Joining the Marine Corps taught me about truth and honor and respect and definitely shaped who I am today. I’ll never be ashamed of what I did during the war and what the Marine Corps made of me.

Biographical Details

Primary Location During Vietnam: Hue, Vietnam Vietnam location marker

Story Subject: Military Service

Military Branch: U.S. Marine Corps

Dates of Service: 1967 - 1970

Veteran Organization: DAV

Unit: 1st Bn 1st Marines A Co.

Specialty: 0311

This story was recorded by Twin Cities PBS for the Minnesota Remembers Story Wall at Moir Park in Bloomington, MN in July 2017.

Story Themes: Bloomington, Children, Combat, Disabled American Veterans, Disabled Veteran, Hue City, I Corps, Marines, Perfume River, Stephen Brown, Tet Offensive, Video

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