Skip to Main Content

Forever a Soldier: Unforgettable Stories of Wartime Service

Chapter Two: The Brotherhood

"Every soldier learns in time that war is a lonely business," wrote Matthew Ridgway, one of America's great generals, who served in World War II and Korea. In the face of Ridgway's accurate observation is any soldier's sense that in battle, the man on your right or the man on your left could be the man who saves your life. Here are the stories of veterans who came to understand that, as lonely a business as war can be, the camaraderie planted in basic training and nurtured through the hardships of the battlefield is a powerful weapon against fear.

One Man's Story - Richard R. DeLeon

Image of Richard R. DeLeon

As a medic in Vietnam, Richard DeLeon, who had prided himself as a street-tough New Yorker, saw things he would never see in Manhattan. What impressed him most was the camaraderie the men felt for him and one another, the kind of fierce loyalty that drove his best buddy to rescue the lone survivor of a copter crash at the risk of his own life. DeLeon had a difficult time readjusting to civilian life, especially when he saw how cavalier his co-workers on Wall Street were about the casualties of war.

Learn more about Richard R. DeLeon

“I realized that if I don't just respect and remember and honor the boys who were there with me, nobody's going to.” (Audio interview, 53:43)

Additional Veterans Featured in Chapter Two

Image of Asa Charles Ball

“It's kind of a family deal, but they're closer than family.”

Asa Charles Ball's story

Image of Robert Franklin Dunning

“We all had our fears but seldom talked about it.”

Robert F. Dunning's story

Image of Philip Thomas Randazzo

“Then after a while you become one of them. That is when your body, your mind changes... You don't belong to the real Army.”

Philip T. Randazzo's story

Image of Charles Raymond Remsburg, Jr.

“There were a lot of pilots who didn't make it who were better than I.”

Charles R. Remsburg Jr.'s story