Steven Sawyer

Conversation with Steven Sawyer
00:00 / 53:19
Steven Sawyer, Ludlow, Massachusetts, 2021
Steven Sawyer, Ludlow, Massachusetts, 2021

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Steven and Dolly Sawyer, Ludlow, Massachusetts, 2021
Steven and Dolly Sawyer, Ludlow, Massachusetts, 2021

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Sawyer with his Purple Heart sculpture, Ludlow, Massachusetts, 2021
Sawyer with his Purple Heart sculpture, Ludlow, Massachusetts, 2021

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Steven Sawyer, Ludlow, Massachusetts, 2021
Steven Sawyer, Ludlow, Massachusetts, 2021

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Steven Sawyer grew up in Springfield, MA as a troublesome kid. Sawyer was lost until Police Sergeant Joe Budd took him under his wing and told him, "go to jail or go serve." Sawyer enlisted in the Army as an officer, and 20 years later retired as a Major. He arrived at Phù Cát Airbase in 1967. His team was serving with the South Korean Tiger Division, and on the first day of their first mission, Sawyer's Second Sergeant Jimmie Tuch turned to him and said, "I'm not going to live to see my 21st birthday." The next day, the day before Jimmie's birthday, the team walked into an ambush, and Jimmie was killed. Sawyer was also shot, but loaded all of his dead and wounded men onto the medevac before he himself finally boarded. "I was brainwashed into believing I could protect everyone." It took Sawyer decades to finally be able to wear a short sleeve shirt that revealed his bullet scar, a reminder to him that Jimmie died instead of him. In the conversation, Sawyer and his wife, Dorothy, recall Sawyer's combat experiences, Dorothy's roll as a military wife, and the life they created around Sawyer's accomplished military career.