vietnam war | Nashville Public Radio

vietnam war

courtesy Simon and Schuster

A new book pieces together the Vietnam experience of a 101st Airborne paratrooper and his reconnaissance unit. The book's author Doug Stanton says even the soldiers of Echo Company didn't understand precisely what they did in combat.

courtesy 101st Airborne / via Facebook

The 101st Airborne is hosting Vietnam Veterans at Fort Campbell this week as part of the division's 75th anniversary. While the unit was born in World War II, Vietnam is where the division earned its modern role in the Army.


Darrel Kilburn headed off to Vietnam right after college. He was a helicopter gunship pilot- often tasked with flying over dangerous territory and patrolling for enemy combatants.

Now in his 70’s, the retired Army Colonel still remembers one of his first experiences facing enemy gunfire while flying with a new co-pilot. What could have easily turned tragic, thankfully ended in a humorous memory of two young men acclimating to war.


Spencer Wiggins had been in college just a few months when he decided to volunteer for the Vietnam War. Now an education executive, he volunteers and works with veterans — some from the same conflict.

But the Brentwood resident admits that he still has some of his own emotions to sort out. He was interviewed by his daughter inside the StoryCorps’ Airstream trailer that was parked outside of Nashville Public Radio's studios.