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.

Ord Elliott: 'No place to go hide'

Ord Elliott, 72: Princeton, 1966, Platoon Leadership Course, rifle platoon commander in Vietnam 1967, left Marine Corps 1972. Earned a PhD at Purdue University in 1974, associate professor and professor 1973-1982, management consultant and business strategic adviser, founder of two companies.

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