It was the year of the reality check. In 1966, Americans began to grasp what they faced in Vietnam. Back home the U.S. administration struggled to sell the war as a necessary sacrifice to stop global communism and save a backward people from an evil aggressor seeking to enslave them.

Hon Lee: 'I wouldn't trade it for the world'

Hon Lee, 73: Navy ROTC University of Oklahoma, artillery officer in Vietnam 1967-68, CIA intelligence officer 1971-2001, founder of martial arts school, opened Chinese medicine and acupuncture practice in 2001.

Mike Wholley: 'You get really close'

Mike Wholley, 71: Navy ROTC at Harvard University, flight school 1968, flew F-4 Phantom jets in Vietnam 1960-70. Thirty-year Marine Corps career, law degree and two master’s degrees. Chief judge and staff judge advocate of the Marine Corps. Retired as brigadier general, was executive director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, appointed general counsel for NASA. Retired in 2014 and loves to ride his motorcycle.

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