Art Wiknik grew up in Higganum, Connecticut, and was drafted into the Army in 1968. He attended basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and advanced training at Tigerland, Fort Polk, Louisiana in preparation for deployment to Vietnam. In April, 1969, he landed in Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. He then flew from Bien Hoa to Phu Bai enroute to Camp Eagle, with a final destination of Camp Evans. Nine days after the 3rd Battalion of the 187th Infantry assaulted Dong Ap Bia, also known as “Hamburger Hill,” in the A Shau Valley, the 2nd Battalion of the 506th Infantry was assigned to support the operation, and Sergeant Wiknik joined in the assault. He survived that battle, and made it through the rest of his time in country before returning to the United States on March 28, 1970.
In this interview, Art Wiknik talks about his childhood in Connecticut, his Army training, and his deployment to Vietnam. He describes his experiences in A/2-506 Infantry, and his relationships with the Officers, NCOs and Soldiers in his platoon. He examines his service in Vietnam, and talks in-depth about his part in the Battle of Hamburger Hill. Finally, he explores his life after the Army, and explains what his service means to him.