In celebration of National Vietnam War Veterans Day, Mar. 29, retired US Army Captain Carl Conge and fellow songwriters Roger Kirby, and Dave Gibson have released a new video honoring those who served in Vietnam.
Gibson – who is featured in the video, and sings lead on the song that accompanies it – is an Academy of Country Music Award Winner who has penned hits for some of the biggest names in country music.
“These Days (He’s Just Tryin’ to Get By)” tells the story of a young man who was drafted, sent to Vietnam with the company that participated in the My Lai Massacre, and returned home a much different person than the one who left to fight in Southeast Asia. It was inspired, in part, by Conge’s older Brother – a Vietnam veteran who passed away in 2010 due to health issues related to the exposure to Agent Orange, and by Michael Franklin – a close family friend who also served in Vietnam.
The color photographs of the My Lai Massacre that appear in the video capture what is considered by many to be one of the darkest moments in the history of the United States military. Sergeant Ronald Haeberle – the Army Photographer who took those photographs in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 16, 1968 – was gracious enough give Conge and the others permission to use them.
The majority of the other images that appear in the video were taken by photographers who were assigned to the Department of the Army Special Photographic Office (DASPO) during the war. One of those photographers, Specialist 5 Robert Lafoon, acted as an unofficial consultant during the making of the video.
You can watch the video here: