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Witness to War: Clevelander Recalls Tet Offensive

Friday, January 31, 2003 at 2:53 PM

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We remember where we were when the planes hit the buildings or when the shots rang out in Dallas. But some people have different ghosts haunting their memories - psychic wounds, which become fresh again with the passing of an anniversary. 35 years ago, American troops were fairly new in Vietnam and their involvement was limited relative to what it would become. One of those troops was 25-year-old Cleveland-area draftee Lou Pumphrey who was serving as a public information officer for the Army's 1st Infantry Division stationed at Lai Khe, about 30 miles northwest of Saigon. Pumphrey was asleep the night of January 30th, 1968 when rockets started raining down. It was the beginning of the Tet offensive, a major turning point in the war. Pumphrey had a tape recorder rolling when the bombardment started and helps us witness a key moment in American, as well as Vietnamese, history. He talked about his experiences with Ideastream's Paul Cox.

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