A Minnesota PBS Initiative

The Big Red One

Richard Jenkins vividly remembers the day he left Vietnam on a plane full of men just as anxious as he was. He served with the First Infantry Division, also known as "The Big Red One." 

People have so much hatred. Life is only a day at a time. I'm grateful that God spared my life.

An African American soldier, standing outside a tent.

Biographical Details

Primary Location During Vietnam: Phuoc Vinh, Vietnam Vietnam location marker

Story Subject: Military Service

Military Branch: U.S. Army

Dates of Service: 1964 - 1967

Unit: First Infantry Division

Richard's story was captured with the help of TPT's Minnesota Remembers Vietnam team.

Story Themes: 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1st Infantry Division, African American, Army, Booby Traps, Civil Rights Movement, Colorado Springs, Coming Home, Martin Luther King Jr., Newport, Phuoc Vinh, Purple Heart, Race, Religion, Richard Jenkins, Students for a Democratic Society, University of Minnesota, Watch

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