The Memories They Brought Home

Story From North Carolina Veteran

Join us Thursday, August 29th at 6 PM for a book signing with photojournalist Martin Tucker. His book of Vietnam photos from North Carolina veterans started as a darkroom class at Sawtooth when Martin was the director of our photography department. Veterans shared 4,000+ photos and for the past 15 years, this project has become a traveling exhibition viewed by thousands. Read below to see a story from a North Carolina Veteran. 

From Al Stewart, U.S. Army 1972

“My last five months on my extension tour I flew as a gunner on a Night Hawk helicopter.  We flew from six in the evening until six in the morning.  We got shot down.  And from the time that we got hit to the time that we crashed couldn’t have been more than about 15 seconds.  We were flying real low.  Our pilot, a guy named W.O. Osburg, he was getting ready to go home.  It was his last flight with Night Hawk in Vietnam.  Mr. Osburg flew that helicopter and I think it was skill and luck combined, but we crashed and he nosed into that culvert purely by accident.The next day we came back to recover the helicopter and of course, all I wanted was to take pictures of it.  There was a village right there near the area.  And they came out, kind of like a train wreck or a car wreck, and everybody wants to look at it.  I don’t even think I saw those people that day.  It was not until I saw the photograph that I said, damn, there’s a lot of people watching there.”