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State Historical Society of Iowa

Letter from Iowa Soldier during the Vietnam War, September 6, 1967

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Courtesy of State Historical Society of Iowa, 6 September 1967


The letter from James (Jim) Leonardo, an employee at the State Historical Museum to one of his co-workers, outlines his experience in Vietnam. The letter was typical of soldiers writing home during this time period. In 1967, Vietnam was drawing to a close and the year of fighting levied heavy loses in the North. The election referenced in the letter had 83 percent of the country voting between 10 candidates for president with the winner being Nguyen Van Thieu, who had strong connections to the military. Although the election was viewed by the U.S. as a symbol of the country moving forward Thieu's opponents voiced concern over the U.S. role in the election.   

Full Transcript of Letter from Iowa Soldier during the Vietnam War

Transcribed Excerpt from a Letter from Iowa Soldier during the Vietnam War

Source-Dependent Questions

  • What actions did Jim point to as progress in Vietnam?
  • Why would it be necessary for the military to be involved in the election?