WCSU Archives - Student Exhibition Space - WestD

Jack Sikora Interview

Dublin Core

Title

Jack Sikora Interview

Description

60 minutes

Abstract

Captain Jack Sikora was born in Norwich Connecticut, and grew up in New London. He came from a military family, although his mother was opposed to him going off to war. Sikora attended Danbury State Teachers College as a history major. He didn’t want to leave for war before finishing his degree, however his plan from the beginning was to serve. He clearly felt a sense of duty to his country and wanted to give something back. Because of this he spent a year in the Vista Program, working in impoverished communities in the South. He was stationed in Belvins Creek, North Carolina. Sikora then started graduate school at Appalachian State until he was commissioned by the Airforce. He then completed officer training school. At which time, he entered the war in Vietnam as an intelligence officer. Sikora was stationed at Otis Airforce Base as a signals control officer. He flew numerous reconnaissance missions over the Ho Chi Minh Trail. His responsibilities were to find out where the VC were and to report back to those on the ground what they found. Sikora expressed his regret of not joining the Marine Corps, in his mind this would have been more honorable. He says his perspective on the war has changed over time. Originally, he felt the involvement was valid. After returning home, and pursuing a career in academia, he was exposed to a different school of thinking; in turn his perspective changed. Sikora also shared his experiences with battling PTSD, and transitioning back to civilian life. He felt as though he was self medicating for many years. Eventually he was able to find help. He like many other Veterans kept quiet about his experiences overseas for many years. Eventually, he helped write the book Bat Cats. This experience gave Sikora and many other families’ closure about the war. Lastly, he reflects on the war involvement as a whole. At which time he said “I like to think that there are some people alive today, because of what we did.”

Publisher

Western Connecticut State University

Language

English

Type

Recorded Interview

Alternative Title

Vietnam War Interview

Date Created

11/23/16

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Time Summary

0-5 mins: Born in Norwich Connecticut, grew up in New London, Connecticut; Danbury State College; History Major; Family military history.
5-10: Class of 65; Knowledge of Vietnam; Vista Program; "Hey what's a year?"; Blevins Creek, North Carolina.
10-15 mins: Graduate school; Appalachian State; Officer training exams; Air Force.
15-20 mins:Family reactions towards Vietnam; Patriotism; Commissioned as an intelligence officer; Trained in aviation.
20-25 mins: Otis Air Force Base; Signals control officer; National priority #2; Ho Chi Minh Trail; Bat Cats; 553 reconnaissances wing; 121 reconnaissance plane.
25-30 mins: Identifying targets; Equipment; Lose of 2 crews; Evading the Vietcong; Reflection on other U.S. military branches.
30-35 mins: Regrets of not joining the Marine Core; Knew coordinates not locations; Protests back home; Back then involvement was valid.
35-40 mins: Academic perspective of the war; Active duty; Finishing education; Teaching; Transition back to civilian life.
40-45 mins: PTSD; Loneliness; Finding help; Serious health issues.
45-50 mins: Salvation; Supporting veterans and their families; "Never expected a pat on the back, but I did not expect a kick in the ass."; Staying quiet.
50-55 mins: Bat Cats the book; Helping families gain closure; Reflection on war involvement.
55-end: Faulty strategies; "Get the hell out of my office."; "I like to think that there are some people alive today, because of what we did.";

Files

Citation

Florio, Alec and Clark, Cody, “Jack Sikora Interview ,” WCSU Archives - Student Exhibition Space - WestD, accessed September 20, 2017, http://archives.library.wcsu.edu/studentOmeka/items/show/2321.

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