Veteran’s Day interview with A Vietnam War Veteran

Carley Henderson

Veteran’s Day is a celebration that was created by Woodrow Wilson at the end of World War 2 to reflect on those who put their life on the line to protect our country. It goes without saying that enlisting this is a very honorable thing for people to willingly do, and can be a very hard thing for those who return home to deal with. 

Devron Carter is the son of a WW2 veteran from Los angeles who served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1969 as an infantryman. In 1968, he finished his training in the states and left to serve in Vietnam in the 25th Infantry Division. He then moved up north close to the Vietnam Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), where he did a 12 month tour before returning home. He then served the rest of his time in the United States.

As a Vietnam veteran, he has received multiple decorations. Not only was he awarded the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal, but he was also awarded the Purple Heart for the trauma endured while serving.

Besides his list of decorations, the Chieftain Press asked what brings him the most pride looking back on his service. “Honestly, just coming home and serving here,” Carter admitted. “You feel a sense of relief.”And what about the most grueling parts of serving? “You also feel a sense of guilt, you know? A lot of people didn’t come back. And you did,” Devron said. “You miss your friends that you served with, too.”

Carter says that, to him, being a veteran is a great source of pride, especially having served during a time of war. He says to keep in mind what it takes to risk your life for your country, and to remember how honorable that is,“It takes a special person to do that.”

He then spoke about life right now, and his opinions on it. Carter, an African American, spoke about Colin Kaepernick, an NFL player that has caused a debate on whether or not kneeling for the national anthem is disrespectful towards people serving our country, or if the purpose of this gesture is a form of peaceful protest against police brutality.

“I don’t find it disrespectful at all,” Carter says, “he’s taking a stand for equal rights, that’s something everyone deserves, that’s what we fight for.”

He recognizes that his experience was key in setting a precedent for America in how we treat veterans and approach war. He also offered a piece of advice to everyone experiencing tense times in America, as it seems we are setting precedents monthly in 2020: “My advice would be to hold on, things are gonna get better. We fought to uphold the Constitution and good will prevail over evil. There are a lot of good people and I think we will work on the dark side of this country.”