Children at War (Vietnam 1965 & 1966)

My first trip to Vietnam was in 1965. I was a 19-year-old Marine. I have written about how I came to be in the Marines elsewhere, so I’ll skip it here. A few months after I arrived in DaNang I bought a 35-mm camera. I loved that camera and usually had it with me – I always had a radio, that was my job. Mostly, I took photos of children. I don’t recall making a conscious decision to focus on children. Perhaps I was drawn to their openness or innocence. Some of the children smiled and looked at ease, but not all. In some, you could see worry and anxiety.  Adults would also show worry and perhaps mistrust. Now, when I look at the photographs I can’t help but wonder if they survived the war. I don’t think most of the children I photographed had an option not to participate. Many of them would have been in their late teens or early 20s by the time the war was over. Some were just a few years younger than me. War is always a tragedy, regardless of who is considered the winner or the loser. All photos in the slide show were taken near DaNang in 1965-1966.