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Chuck And Tom Hagel Saved Each Others' Lives In Vietnam. But They Came Home Divided

"The two of us that went in, two different people came out," Tom Hagel tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson.
"Our Year of War," by Daniel P. Bolger. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Brothers Chuck and Tom Hagel served together in an Army rifle platoon in Vietnam in 1968. They were each wounded several times and saved each others’ lives on numerous occasions. But the two men came home divided over the war just as the country was. Chuck, who would go on to become a U.S. senator and later secretary of defense, believed in the war. Tom thought it was immoral.

The new book “Our Year Of War” by retired Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger tells their story. They join Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the book.

Interview Highlights

On choosing to join the Army

Tom Hagel: “Our father, for example, was in World War II, and our uncles and extended family members, and in my mind it was a matter of, basically every generation has their war and it was our time. So you go in, you do what you need to do.

“I knew so little about it that I’m sure I didn’t even have an opinion. It was war, the United States says that we have to go there and help out this one country. And I was so young, so unsophisticated, so uninformed

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