War Veteran Interview
My name is Ernesto Contreras, and out of my own curiosity have; decided to interview my grandfather and tell his story on his war experiences from the beginning of boot camp, until his last day of service. Arthur Cameron was born in phoenix, Arizona, in 1946. He is a Native American and had been very athletic in high school, playing on sports teams like basketball, track and field and cross-country. In the year 1963, the United States had been drawn into the war in Southeast Asia that would be later known as the Vietnam War.
Arthur came from an era where there was a military obligation (draft). Many of his male family members as well as friends had undergone the draft. His father was a WWII veteran and uncles were Korean War veterans. Arthur did not list in the military, but was drafted like many other young men of his time in 1966 (running off to Canada was not an option according to him). At the time he was residing in Huntington Park, which is a suburb of Los Angeles and attending East Los Angeles College.
He was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, where his basic training began. He saw boot camp as a challenge and enjoyed it. The downside of training was, having to wake up early in the morning and being harassed mentally and physically by the instructors. The main goal was to break a person down in order to work together because that is what was needed in order to survive, which Arthur understood. When asked about whether he remembered his first day in the service, he replied, “Actually, I remembered the party a few days before my first day of service.” He then recounted the first morning, the numerous examinations, and his two instructors: Sergeants Brown and Twiford. “Sgt. Twiford and Sgt. Brown are two instructors that I remember.” He remembered what they taught him in training, and explained more about Sgt. Brown because of an event that happened during a bayonet training session. Sgt. Brown explained to the trainees that they were...