Gilbert, Carol (Interview transcript and video), 2013


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Gilbert, Carol (Interview transcript and video), 2013



Coryell, Janet (Interviewer)


Carol Gilbert was born in Nuremburg, Germany on July 25, 1950. After two years in Germany, her family moved back to the United States. She got married soon after graduating high school, but unfortunately her husband was drafted to Vietnam soon after. Freddie Gilbert went to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for basic training and Fort McClellan, Alabama for advanced individual training. After that, Freddie Gilbert briefly visited home, and Carol Gilbert became pregnant during that time. The two exchanged letters daily, and Carol Gilbert sent him a telegram when their son was born. Freddie Gilbert came home a few months later and continued his service in Fort Meade, Maryland. While her husband served, Carol Gilbert worked as a bookkeeper and a babysitter. While they were living on base, some of their friends did not support the war and were hostile to the Gilberts. To this day, the Gilberts’ closest friends are those who have served in the military. They still meet with some of their military friends regularly, and Carol Gilbert is always surprised when hearing about her husband’s service in Vietnam. In 1973, Freddie Gilbert was deployed to Germany and Carol Gilbert befriended many military wives while she was there. Even at home, Freddie Gilbert was often on Temporary Duty, so Carol Gilbert did most of the work raising their children because her husband was usually away. Carol Gilbert converted from Methodist to Catholic when she got marries because Freddie Gilbert was Catholic. Religion was important to them, but they did not attend church as often when Freddie Gilbert was away. When he came back on leave, they went to church as a family but did not force their kids to join them. After Freddie Gilbert was discharged from the military and working for Computer Sciences Corporation, he received a letter notifying him that he could get called back into the military until he was 55. Fortunately, he was not called back. Carol Gilbert recalls her husband's demeanor becoming cold when he came back from Vietnam. However, joining the Fire Support Base Ripcord Association helped him return to his "happy-go-lucky" self. Now that America is past the era when veterans were called murderers and belittled in public, Carol Gilbert is proud to be a veterans’ wife.





Grand Valley State University. University Libraries. Special Collections & University Archives


Veterans History Project (U.S.)






Moving Image




Gilbert, Carol, “Gilbert, Carol (Interview transcript and video), 2013,” Digital Collections, accessed April 12, 2024,
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