"That photo!" - 50 years later: Why I didn't go to Viet Nam

Eddie Adams' iconic Vietnam War photo: What happened next

The photo was taken 50 years ago - February 1st, 1968. The background (read the entire article above)
Heavy street fighting had pitched Saigon into chaos when South Vietnamese military caught a suspected Viet Cong squad leader, Nguyen Van Lem, at the site of a mass grave of more than 30 civilians. Adams began taking photos as Lem was frogmarched through the streets to Loan's jeep. Loan stood beside Lem before pointing his pistol at the prisoner's head. "I thought he was going to threaten or terrorise the guy," Adams recalled afterwards, "so I just naturally raised my camera and took the picture." Lem was believed to have murdered the wife and six children of one of Loan's colleagues. The general fired his pistol. "If you hesitate, if you didn't do your duty, the men won't follow you," the general said about the suddenness of his actions.

  • Did I remember it? Sure! Probably was published in Newsweek and newspapers that I read.
  • Where was I? Freshman at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Why wasn't I drafted? I had a 2S student deferment. Relevant law.
  • What about the draft lottery? It was on December 1st, 1969 (My Junior year). My number was 311. The lottery ended the 2S system. In 1970 men were called up for the draft up to number 195. In 1971 up to 125. When I graduated from college I was eligible for the draft but my high number excluded me
  • Did I know anyone who died in Viet Nam? Yes. Bill Littleton. OHHS 1967

  • He had only been in Viet Nam for 4 months

From Tim Rodenberg's Facebook page

At the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall in Union Township, Clermont County. My best friend from high school was killed in Vietnam and I placed a wreath by the panel containing his name.

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