Fieser, Lawrence (Interview transcript and video), 2019


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Fieser, Lawrence (Interview transcript and video), 2019


Smither, James (Interviewer)


Larry Fieser was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1950. He joined thr Army while studying engineering at Merrimack Community College. After basic training, he trained to become an Army medic and was assigned to accompany an infantry unit. He was then flown to Bien Hoa, Vietnam, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne at Camp Evans, and was deployed to A Shau Valley for combat assault missions. While on a period of Rest and Recovery in Thailand, Fieser’s unit was hit hard by enemy forces, killing a few of his friends, including the medic who replaced him during his absence. For the rest of his tour, Fieser remained with C “Charlie” Company where his interaction with Vietnamese civilians increased. When his tour was over, Fieser was flown into Fort Lewis, Washington, where he was resupplied with new gear and dress uniforms before being sent home. At home, he felt he had to readjust himself completely from the person he had been in Vietnam. People on the homefront were generally hostile towards veterans and the war effort, so he had to censor or reserve aspects of his speech and noted how American civilians were much less communicative than soldiers in the field. When he returned to Fort Sam Houston, Fieser became an unofficial secretary for the NCOs at the base for nearly five months, which he viewed as useless. Ultimately, he was no longer interested in continuing his military service and was soon discharged. From there, Fieser resumed attendance at Merrimack Community College and went to work in the Psychiatric Ward at a VA hospital, improving its efficiency and interaction with patients over his six-year tenure. His work at the VA was emotionally and psychologically draining, so he left, got married, bought a house, and began working as an insurance agent for twenty years with Farmers Insurance. However, he yet again became bored of this mundane work, so he left and began work at Target, enjoying the physical labor and lack of mental stress of working in a department store. Later, Fieser discovered he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and pursued group therapy and meditation to quell the psychological strain. Reflecting upon his service, Fieser believed the Army taught him that there are more important things in life than material valuables and that he no longer needed to convince himself of validation or acceptance.




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Grand Valley State University Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI, 49401.


Veterans History Project (U.S.)






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Fieser, Lawrence, “Fieser, Lawrence (Interview transcript and video), 2019,” Digital Collections, accessed April 20, 2024,
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