Mike Zolezzi, Sr.

Mike Zolezzi, Sr., USS Midway, San Diego, California, 2021
Mike Zolezzi, Sr., USS Midway, San Diego, California, 2021

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Zolezzi's passport issued for his ordered campaign in Cambodia, USS Midway, San Diego, California, 2
Zolezzi's passport issued for his ordered campaign in Cambodia, USS Midway, San Diego, California, 2

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Zolezzi's passport issued for his ordered campaign in Cambodia, USS Midway, San Diego, California, 2
Zolezzi's passport issued for his ordered campaign in Cambodia, USS Midway, San Diego, California, 2

The military put false information, including the date of November 15, 1971, in case Zolezzi was captured by enemy forces, therefore allowing him to say he was a visiting tourist rather than American soldier.

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Mike Zolezzi, Sr., USS Midway, San Diego, California, 2021
Mike Zolezzi, Sr., USS Midway, San Diego, California, 2021

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Conversation with Mike Zolezzi Sr
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Mike Zolezzi, Sr. enlisted into the Army as an ROTC. After receiving a free collegiate education, he requested to be in the medevac division, and in 1969 was commissioned to go to Vietnam. Zolezzi says, "I wasn't there to justify the war, but to help those boys." At 22-years-old, Zolezzi was flying medevac missions in and out of  I Corps, the northern most region of South Vietnam, and Cambodia. As the US was illegally flying missions into Cambodia, the Army issued Zolezzi a fake passport in case he was shot down in Cambodia and could say he was a tourist, therefore avoiding being a POW (pictured above). Zolezzi was the sole survivor of an assault on his medevac team while rescuing wounded soldiers at Pleiku Air Base. Zolezzi recounts his traumatic experiences and speaks freely on his PTSD and how it has affected his life. "I won't stop having PTSD until I croak."