“Living A Good Life For Those Who Didn’t Make It”: Service With D/1-5 CAV In Vietnam

Stephen Cliff Brown


Stephen Cliff Brown was born in 1948 in Indianapolis and grew up with three younger brothers. His mother was a teacher and his dad was a machinist. In high school in the mid-60s, he remembers anti-war protests on one side, and on the other “folks who needed to prove themselves” joining the Marines. Realizing the likelihood of being drafted, he volunteered for the draft in November 1968. Basic Training and Advanced Infantry Training were at Ft. Lewis, Washington. Training “was OK,” and he enjoyed learning from combat veterans. When he deployed, he joined 1-5 Cavalry, part of the 1st Cavalry Division, where his normal routine became three weeks in the field and one week in the base camp. He describes typical missions and his most vivid experiences in combat. He remembers the camaraderie, and never leaving anyone behind. Once, near the Cambodian border, the firing was so intense that he went deaf and got no sleep for five days. After returning from Vietnam, he left the Army and earned an electrical engineering degree. He has suffered from Post Traumatic Stress and the effects of Agent Orange. He notes that Vietnam changed him irreparably, and he feels obligated to live a good life for those who did not make it.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Camaraderie Teamwork Leadership PTSD Returning from War
interviewer David Siry
date 14 September 2021


name Stephen Cliff Brown
service Infantry
unit D / 1-5 Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division
service dates 1968 1970