Joe Campbell – Finding Acceptance After the Vietnam War, Pt. I

Joe joins us today to share his experience of serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He explains why he chose to enlist in the Army instead of waiting to be drafted, why he was anxious to fight in the Vietnam War, and how the realities of war compared to his initial expectations. He shares the shocking realities of returning home after serving in Vietnam, how he was treated, and why he felt like an ‘outsider’ even within the U.S borders. He discusses the impact that burying his feelings and emotions about losing battle buddies has had on his life, how it led to his addiction to alcohol, and how the gift of sobriety helped him cope with those buried emotions. Joe also shares his motivation to connect with veteran outreach programs and dedicate himself to helping other combat veterans.

“The greatest gift I have is to live a good life for those guys and gals that gave their life for me. And the only way I can really thank them is by living a good life because of them.”

Joe Campbell


Born and raised in Illinois, Joe Campbell graduated from the Marmion Military Academy in 1965. Shortly after, he enlisted and served four years in the U.S. Army. During his enlistment, Joe served with the 8th Infantry Division in Bad Kreuznach, Germany as well as the 1st Logistical Command in Vietnam. Over the last several decades, Joe has committed himself to serve and help other military veterans. He has served as a Trustee for the Milwaukee County War Memorial Corporation, Inc, a Chaplain with the Vietnam Veterans of America Milwaukee Chapter, and has held executive positions at several veteran-oriented organizations, including his own machinery and welding company. Due to his service and commitment to help his fellow veterans, Joe has received several awards and accolades, including the 2018 Patriot Award from the War Memorial Center and the 2007 Veteran of the Year Award by Milwaukee County.


1 comment on “Joe Campbell – Finding Acceptance After the Vietnam War, Pt. I

  1. Roger Rickrty says:

    Thank you for all you have done and still do. One day along time ago I took the midnight to 6:00 am shift at the traveling wall, I believe it was on the lake front by the memorial. You sat and listened to me while drinking my coffee. I could see in your eyes that you knew the pain I was going through. You were the first one brother that helped me on my twenty year or so journey. Thank You my friend and brother. Welcome Home

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