Moore, Chris

Chris Moore was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in the years after World War Two.  He grew up against the backdrop of the 1950s, seeing the civil rights movement and the Cold War unfold during those years.  As Chris came from a military family, when he came of age in the 60s he volunteered for Vietnam, training at Fort Polk and going overseas to Vietnam early in 1970.  Chris went as an engineer, and his duties in Vietnam included building roads and maintaining infrastructure.  His duties did not include day-to-day combat, but he did take part in patrols and was exposed to many of the dangerous realities of the war zone, including exposure to Agent Orange.  Chris shares his memories of daily life in Vietnam, as well as his personal realizations and changing attitudes towards the war.  He recalls going to Vietnam with a belief in the domino theory of communist expansionism, but what he saw changed his mind:  he came to his own realizations about race and culture – and recognized his own prejudicial attitudes about the Vietnamese people.  Later trips to Vietnam led him to develop these attitudes more fully – and to experience a healing catharsis about what war meant to him and America.  Chris Moore and Donut Dolly Nancy Smoyer were interviewed via zoom by Mr. Hawkins’ American History class in May 2022.