John Carmichael was born March 29, 1948, and he grew up in southwestern Ontario, living in the London and Chatham areas. John was a student-athlete in high school, with a keen interest in math and physics. Wanting to attend MIT, he made the decision to first go to Canada’s Royal Military College. He was there in the late 60s, and then served in the Canadian Navy in the early 70s. At that time, the Vietnam War was winding down. When the Americans finally withdrew, John was assigned to the ICCS (International Commission of Control and Supervision), a UN peace-monitoring mission that oversaw the fragile and new peace in the region. John started his mission in Danang, not too far from the DMZ; he quickly ended up in Chu Lai, where significant fighting had recently taken place, violating the terms of the ceasefire. Over the next 6 months he would travel all over Vietnam, taking in the culture and the politics and the people, and doing his part to ensure the recovery of the troubled nation. John returned to Canada, where having completed his military obligation in 1974, he returned to civilian life and, with his wife, made his way in the Canadian business world. John Carmichael was interviewed for this project over zoom in December 2021.
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