Interview with Former Corpsman: Jack Cassidy
Born on June 18, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut, into a blue-collar family, Jack "Doc" Cassidy moved through his early life with an easy-going aura. During his teenage years, while racial tensions and the Cold War were at the forefront of the minds of many US citizens, Jack focused on his budding football career and spending time with friends in his neighborhood. Jack failed in his first attempt at college, leading him to join the Naval Reserve as a Hospital Corpsman during early 1966. With the Vietnam War raging, Jack attended Basic and Hospital Corpsman Training, where he would contract a dental infection that delayed his graduation. This delay altered his service trajectory: Jack now had to attend Combat Corpsman School in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, meaning he would eventually be deployed to Vietnam. Jack arrived in Vietnam during the late summer of 1968, where instead of getting to join his first choice, the Air Wing, he was attached to Kilo Company, of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, who at the time were in Thuong Duc, an area in I Corps near the Laotian border. Jack went on to serve in the Arizona territory near An Hoa as well. During his interview he speaks of racial tensions in his unit, opinions of officers and fellow enlisted men, “euphoric recall,” wound care, booby traps, drug use, an eventful R and R trip to Singapore, reunions, and the overall Corpsman experience in Vietnam. For Jack, being a Corpsman was the best thing he ever did.
Link to Interview: Full Audio Here