Library - Investigations

Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

Dellums Committee Hearings on War Crimes in Vietnam

Testimony of Terry Mullen (1/20 Bn, 11th Bgd, Americal Div)

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Statement Of Terry Mullen 1/20 Bn, 11th Bgd, Americal Div Racine, WI

MULLEN: I am Terry Mullen from Racine, WI. I think Gary is right in this whole thing, where the thing of the atrocities is really not what matters here today...

We know all this happens. You could sit here and listen to everything, and we could tell you - we could write a book on the war, but that's not really the book we're after. The thing is, why did it start? I aim sure there are atrocities in every war but - Okay, I remember going into basic and the 1st thing that hits you is that they take away from you any individuality you had and put you in a mass. That mass they tell you, they tell you in this situation that you are the legs and they are the head. You don't think.

You don't do anything but alt. From there on it goes. You are in it.

If you are smart you will go along with it because it's the only way out, so you go along with it. You go through the basic training and AIT and you are then in a dream world. You don't believe this is going on, but there it is.

and there's no way out. Before you know it you get your orders for Vietnam. and then everything bursts open. Right away you hit Vietnam and the rockets start coming in and you find out it's the real thing, you know?

and then you've got to make a decision. You have to go along with it over there, to live, or else you can't make it. Any moral questions in your mind about the whole thing, you just have to put those out of your mind because the fact is they ask you to do it and it's the real thing. So you go along with this for a while and you just can't ask any questions. For instance, as soon as I got in the field I was scared stiff. I didn't know what I was going to do or what was going on. All I could think of was that I had to learn what they were doing, which I couldn't question if it was good or bad. So I went along with it and right away I could see these guys, the only thing was they were all depressed and angry and it's just something you can't put your finger on.

The more dinks you kill, goes the motto, the more safer it is for you, and the sooner you get to going home. So you went along with it. You couldn't question it.

As time went on, you could just see this developing. The 1st time I went to a vill, these guys had been out there now for 10 months, but it was my 1st day there. But the 1st thing that happened was we walked into a vill. Now they told me about the dinks and the gooks and what you had to do, and how you take over the whole vill. Well, they took over the whole vill and took anything they wanted. This was it. This was the pattern of the war. This is what went on.

I could tell you atrocities and incidents, and of course you have heard them all day long. It's not a question of what really it is. It's the shock treatment you get when you go in the Army and they put it to you. You do this or you're going to die. If you follow our rules, good or bad, it's going to assure you a ticket home to your great Amer.

That was it. To me it was definitely bad. But what could you do? You have to go along. That was the thing. I was too much of a coward to do anything else. You feel you have to get up and do something about it, yet you want to come home alive. Sure these things went on every day. That was fact. Everybody here knows that. This is the fact. All these atrocities did happen.

DELLUMS: Thank you very much. Next is Steve Padoris.

 

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