American War Stories: Vietnam

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Turning Point

Turning Point recounts the growth of American forces to over 500,000 troops by 1968, and how some Americans estimated the Communist enemy's days were numbered and the war would be over in months. Yet the shock of North Vietnam's massive Tet Offensive surprised and dismayed a public that was tiring of the weekly scene of flag draped caskets arriving at Dover, Delaware. Stories from Marines trapped in the deadly siege of Khe Sanh and of the terror of 'walking point', when a soldier leads his squad into the jungle, highlight the danger and intensity of this phase of the war. Turning Point also explores the illogical set of rules of when, who, and how our troops could attack the enemy, a system that perplexed our men and women to no end. But the war also had its lighter moments when soldiers had a chance to kick back and relax. In this hour, veterans reminisce about going on R&R's - Rest and Relaxation breaks - in Hawaii, and how difficult it was to return. Soldiers also talk about nonsense games they created to beat the boredom. There were even rare moments of romance, and one soldier tells the story of how he fell hard for a South Vietnamese girl with whom he just celebrated their 42nd year of marriage!

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