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Firsthand Accounts

Image 1: Joe Costello's wedding day; Image 2: Joe Costello on base; Image 3: Joe Costello in his barracks with other soldiers; Image 4: Joe Costello in the field in Vietnam
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Before (0:43)
October 1967 (1:11)
Aftermath (1:24)
Reflections (0:29)

Joe Costello

' bad as [Vietnam] was for me -- and including the difficult memories that I'll always have -- everything's always going to be better than that.'

After graduating from high school in Merrick, Long Island, Joe Costello volunteered for the army -- against the wishes of his parents, who wanted him to go to college. By volunteering for the draft, he could get out of the service in two years instead of three. Just eighteen years old in the fall of 1967, he was a grenadier for the Alpha platoon of the Black Lions.

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