Episode 2771 – Vietnam Vet Oliver Stone is the Real Deal

Oliver Stone in South Vietnam, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Payne

Oliver Stone in South Vietnam, sometime in 1967 or 1968.

Episode 2771 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Army Vietnam Vet Oliver Stone along with his books and movies. The featured story appeared on The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Film Director Oliver Stone Was a Soldier in Vietnam. It was submitted by David Vergun, a writer for DOD News.

Vergun in his story, reported that Acclaimed screenwriter and director Oliver Stone, whose work includes “Wall Street” (1987), “The Doors” (1991), “JFK” (1991) and “Nixon” (1995), served in the Army and deployed to Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. His wartime experiences would shape some of his later films.

Stone enlisted in April 1967. He requested combat duty and that’s exactly what he got. He arrived in South Vietnam Sept. 16, 1967, assigned as an infantryman to the, 25th Infantry Division (The Tropic Lightning), stationed near the Cambodian border.

He was wounded twice in combat and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for valor. His wounds were either a bullet or shrapnel to the neck and the other was shrapnel to the legs and buttocks.

Regarding the Bronze Star, Stone wrote about it in his rather long-titled book: “Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game.”

After recovering from a wound, he transferred to the 1st Cavalry Division and was assigned to a long-range reconnaissance platoon. On Jan. 1, 1968, Stone’s platoon, part of two battalions, was patrolling along the Cambodian border. That night, they came under a massive attack from a North Vietnamese regiment which outnumbered them.

Oliver Stone said about the killing in Vietnam: I was too young to understand. No person should ever have to witness so much death.”

Stone was honorably discharged in November 1968. The Vietnam GI Bill helped pay for his enrollment in New York University, where he studied filmmaking under Martin Scorsese.

Listen to episode 2771 and discover more about Army Vietnam Vet Oliver Stone and his books and movies.

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