43 Years Ago Life Magazine Brought the Cost of War Home - The Pictures Said it All - 8 Red Warriors Included
Over 40 Years ago, June 27, 1969, Life Magazine published one of it's most haunting issues. It is as powerful today as it was then. 272 names and pictures brought the war into the hands of an already numbed public. Eight Red Warriors pictures are included in the issue, the result of a May 27th battle where Battalion Commander LTC Robert Carter was Killed.
The LIFE story began with the following paragraphs, but the pictures said it all.
"It is not the intention of this article to speak for the dead. We cannot tell with any precision what they thought of the political currents which drew them across the world. From the letters of some, it is possible to tell they felt strongly that they should be in Vietnam, that they had great sympathy for the Vietnamese people and were appalled at their enormous suffering. Some had voluntarily extended their tours of combat duty; some were desperate to come home. Their families provided most of these photographs, and many expressed their own feelings that their sons and husbands died in a necessary cause. Yet in a time when the numbers of Americans killed in this war - 36,000 - though far less than the Vietnamese losses, have exceeded the dead in the Korean War, when the nation continues week after week to be numbed by a three-digit statistic which is translated to direct anguish in hundreds of homes all over the country, we must pause to look into the faces. More than we must know how many, we must know who. The faces of one week's dead, unknown but to families and friends, are suddenly recognized by all in this gallery of young American eyes...."
Below are the eight Red Warriors who died, May 27, 1969 and who appeared in the June 1969 issue of LIFE magazine.