A Minnesota PBS Initiative
It Becomes a Brotherhood
It becomes a brotherhood. These guys, they become closer to you than family. I cannot tell a family member what I went through but I can sit and chat with and talk to a veterans and it’s a healing process.
Terry Weibel was drafted into the Army and was sent to Vietnam after basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He remembers that hot blast of air upon departing the air-conditioned plane in Vietnam. Seeing tanks, guns and combat, he asked himself, “What have I gotten myself into?” He hauled supplies in a convoy to troops, and developed friendships that endure beyond the battlefield.
“It becomes a brotherhood. These guys, they become closer to you than family. I cannot tell a family member what I went through but I can sit and chat with and talk to a veterans and it’s a healing process.“ Coming home was difficult for veterans like Weibel. They were not only treated badly, but were asked to put everything in the back of the closet and not to talk about it.
"People have a tendency to blame the troops coming home. Don’t blame the troops. They’re only doing their jobs. Like, when were there we were doing what we were told to do. Want to blame somebody? Blame the people who put us there."
Over the last 20 years, after opening up about experiences and attending reunions, some healing has happened. He is proud of the way that our troops are supported today: “I am so proud of America for standing behind our troops. It is touching.“ And he doesn’t hold a grudge against those who protested. “It was the times,” he says.
This story was recorded by Twin Cities PBS at Moir Park in Bloomington, MN in July 2017.
Story Themes: 261st Trans, 4TC, 6BN, An Khe, Bloomington, Brotherhood, camaraderie, Fort Polk, HHT 1/10 Cavalry, Terry Weibel, Truck Driver, Video