SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Jeff Hackett served for roughly two years during the Vietnam War in the 1st Battalion, 26th Regiment.
In early 1968, Jeff Hackett enlisted himself into the United States Marine Corps as an infantry member on a two-year tour.
“I went to college and didn’t do well. I had a lot of fun partying and as a result I didn’t do well. I could wait around to be drafted or not, or I could run my own life and enlist,” said Hackett.
In the middle of 1968, Hackett was given orders to go to Vietnam and join the 1st Battalion 26th Marine Regiment. His tour was filled with a mix of good moments with his fellow Marines and a few close calls.
“I remember once we were under fire and we were behind, we called them ‘burm lines.’ I had to urinate, rather than just urinate. I wanted to roll over and do it correctly, so I did, and when I did that, where I had been was just blown to smithereens. Had I not rolled over and done it the wrong way, I would’ve been dead,” said Hackett.
In early 1970, Hackett’s tour was cut short after receiving word his father was dying. Hackett said once he returned stateside, he wasn’t given a pleasant welcome.
“It was people spitting at you, you know, ‘You’re a baby killer,’ and all the harassment. I mean, just straight up ask you that kinda stuff! I was just amazed,” said Hackett.
Despite his dislike for the Vietnam War, Hackett said he was thankful to experience the beauty of the country he served in and made friends he will never forget.