Special Collections and Archives

Richard Carlisle, Personal Narrative

Special Collections and Archives

Richard Carlisle, Personal Narrative

Richard Carlisle, Personal Narrative

Submitted via email, May 4, 2000


I was a member of the US Army with orders to report to Ft. Lewis, Wa and was in route to the Canton/Akron airport the day of the shootings. I was to serve in Vietnam as an infantry soldier and had watched President Nixon report to the American people that the war was expanding into Cambodia. While driving to the airport the announcement came over the car radio that four students had been killed by Ohio National Guard members and that 15 more were wounded. I had attended Kent State University prior to my being drafted and was familiar with the campus. My girlfriend (later to become my wife) was attending KSU and was on campus during the demonstrations of May 1st. We both had driven from our hometown of New Phila to the camus on several occassions and had seen members of the ONG on road patrol for the Teamster's strike. It was an eerie feeling to see jeeps with machine guns mounted on them sitting on the overpasses of I-77. I remember feeling shocked and dismayed that the killing that I was soon to be part of had come home. I returned from the military and finished my degree in 1974. The year of 1970 was filled with bloodshed for me. I went from a battle field to a war zone.