There are a lot of ways to read Lee Alley’s life. When he returned from Vietnam in 1968, the headlines read “War Hero” and “Highly Decorated”. Read his memoir “Back From War” published in 2005 and you’ll get a very different picture; a highly capable officer who felt guilt every time he lost a man; a thoughtful soldier who could see Viet Cong as fellow human beings, yet lost control on one occasion and had to be restrained from committing a war crime. Most revealing is what
happened after Lee Alley returned to the United States, but brought the war home with him. Because of his PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Alley was unable to separate past from present. Loud noises could send him back into the middle of a battle in the jungle.
Wyoming Chronicle host Richard Ager talks to Lee Alley about his experiences in Vietnam, and for the veterans who served with him. Alley pulls no punches, and details how his generation who served in Vietnam were rejected even by American veterans of other wars. In commemoration of Memorial Day, they also look at recent efforts by the state of Wyoming to extend a belated welcome home to those who served but were never properly thanked.