Episode 2611 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Arthur Ashe’s brother Johnnie who served in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine. The featured story appeared in the UCLA Newsroom and was titled: Brother of Arthur Ashe made decision that kept tennis legend out of war. It was submitted by Jonathan Van Dyke on November 8, 2016.
According to Van Dyke’s story Arthur Ashe had a younger brother named Johnnie who served as a Marine in Vietnam for two tours. When Johnnie returned home from his first tour in 1967, he volunteered for a second tour in country to prevent his brother Arthur from having to go to Vietnam.
Arthur at the time was serving as an officer in the U.S. Army at West Point, NY. He graduated from UCLA and was in the Army ROTC program. Johnnie was aware of the greatness of his brother Arthur, so he made the decision to do something courageous to save his brother from going to Vietnam. He knew of the government policy against sending brothers to war at the same time.
Johnnie recalls that their family always felt a strong bond to service. Two of his uncles were in the Marine Corps — one was among the first 20,000 ever to serve in that branch of the military. He said “I decided to go into the corps right out of high school, knowing that there was a possibility of going to Vietnam.”
Johnnie recalled; my Uncle Rudy used to tell us how tough [the Marine Corps] was, and how it can make you a man. “During that period, I was either going to get caught up in the draft, or I could join some service on my own.”
So he joined the Marines in June 1965 and deployed in August 1966 to Southeast Asia.
Listen to episode 2611 and discover more about Arthur Ashe’s brother Johnnie who served in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine.