Mr. Paul R. Grieco grew up on Long Island, New York in a large Italian-American family. At a young age, he became involved in the family printing business. After high school, he entered the Rochester Institute of Technology where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in printing. After graduating from college, Uncle Sam called, and Paul was drafted into the Army in October of 1968. The Army recognized his skills and he was awarded the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of 83F20, Offset Pressman. He was serving in that job at Ft. Sheridan, Illinois, when he was requested, by name, to fill a slot in Vietnam. By the time he arrived in country, the unit that requested him had been deactivated, and he ended up in the 35th Engineer Group, where he was assigned to the Public Information Office. He served nine months in Vietnam, traveling throughout the Central Highlands, taking photographs as a reporter for the quarterly Engineer Command magazine, “The Kysu” (Vietnamese for Engineer), and other Army publications. After returning from Vietnam, he embarked upon a career as a printer.
In this interview, Paul discusses his family background, including recounting the stories of his father and uncles who served in World War II. He talks about his college experience and the political climate around campus. He describes his experiences in Vietnam and some of his various assignments around the country. Finally, he shares stories about his involvement with a veterans’ organization, the Vietnam War Veterans Association (VWVA), and their outreach to local high schools, where they talk about the importance of service and the theme “freedom is not free.” At the end of the interview is a touching story about his father and the new neighbor who moved in across the street.