Clem Blazewick: My Story
Clem Blazewick of White Hall, Pennsylvania was drafted into the army in June 1965, departed San Francisco for Southeast Asia on Christmas day, right before the big build up of forces in Vietnam. Narrowly escaping duty as a medic with the Marines near the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ), he was assigned to be a medical laboratory technician at the 93rd Evacuation Hospital in Long Bien, about 20 miles north of Saigon.
Clem worked on wounded servicemen, and every day he saw serious casualties. On occasion he assisted in autopsies of dead servicemen. One soldier that stands out in his memory is Charley from Colorado, who miraculously survived after losing both legs, parts of both arms, and receiving 66 pints of blood.
It’s just one of many fascinating stories Clem shared with the students of Pittsburgh’s Winchester Thurston School, where we teach high school students about the veteran experience and the importance of oral history from those who lived it–in their own words.
Below is another first-person account written by Mr. Blazewick.