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Smither, James (Interviewer)

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Smoker, Robert

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Bob Smoker was born in 1949 in York, Pennsylvania. He grew up there and graduated from high school there in 1967. He attended college briefly, and then took a job, which cost him his deferment. In April 1969 he received his draft notice and shortly thereafter began basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. After Fort Dix he was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington for Advanced Infantry Training and upon completing that he was deployed to Vietnam in October 1969. He arrived in Bien Hoa and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. After completing Screaming Eagle Replacement Training School at Camp Ray (near Saigon) he was sent up to Camp Evans and was assigned to Charlie Company,2nd of the 506th Regiment 101st Airborne Division. During his time in Vietnam he participated in patrols of the Lowlands, in Operation Texas Star (the establishment of Firebase Ripcord in the spring of 1970) and the subsequent Battle of Firebase Ripcord during July 1970. After leaving Vietnam he finished his service at Hunter Army Air Field, Georgia and was discharged from the Army on May 12, 1971. After a professional career, he became a minister and got involved with a group of American missionaries that work in Vietnam to help teach the rural Vietnamese English and to help American Vietnam War veterans find peace with their memories.

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Veterans History Project collection, (RHC-27)

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