Oscar Winning actor Wes Studi, A Rare Brand Of Vietnam Veteran!

You may not know the name Wes Studi, but you would probably recognize his face, and you should. Studi is a Cherokee, a Vietnam veteran and an accomplished actor. He has been acting for several decades and is well-known for his roles in movies like, “Dances With Wolves,” and “The Last of the Mohicans,” and many other roles on film and TV.

wes studi

He recently received an Oscar, “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his acting career. As a 17-year-old Studi got permission from his parents to join the National Guard. That was in the early 60s. He signed up for the usual 6-year hitch at that time.

While serving he began to hear a lot of stories from returning Vietnam veterans and decided he wanted to know if he was up to that experience. With only a year to go on his original 6-year enlistment in the National Guard, Studi volunteered to go active duty and to go to Vietnam.

Studi served in Vietnam in 1967-1968. He was assigned to the 3rd Bn, 39th Infantry of the 9th Infantry Division and was stationed down in the Mekong Delta area. He arrived just in time for what was called the mini Tet.

His unit was at a place called the French Fort on one of the Mekong Delta rivers, very near the coast. During the time he was there his unit would be deployed on many missions throughout that delta area.

Like so many returning Vietnam veterans, Studi’s coming home experience was made difficult, not so much by the negative attitudes that greeted us when we came home, that was bad enough, but by something more intimate, more personal, more interior.

While in Vietnam we had grown used to living every moment of our lives aware of the imminent threat of death that hung around us like a pall in every moment, in every place. Because it was so present at all times, we grew accustomed to living with that tension. It shaped our consciousness, our “awakeness.” It made us constantly attentive to our surroundings, constantly keyed up to act at a

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