The Selective Service System is honored to present a series of Stories from three soldiers who were drafted and served America during the Vietnam War with great courage and honor. Here is Marc Leepson’s story:
A former staff writer for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, Marc Leepson is the author of nine books, most recently Ballad of the Green Beret, the first biography of U.S. Army Sergeant Barry Sadler. His other books include What So Proudly We Hailed, a biography of Francis Scott Key; Lafayette: Idealist General, a concise biography of the Marquis de Lafayette; Flag: An American Biography; Saving Monticello; and the Webster’s New World Dictionary of the Vietnam War.
Mr. Leepson graduated from George Washington University in 1967 and was then drafted into the U.S. Army, serving two years during the Vietnam War. After reflecting on his service, Mr. Leepson spoke of his experience, and the value it brought to his future.
“It was a valuable thing in my life. It was like the ultimate rite of passage. I feel like I owed a debt to the country and that it helped the country, and it helped myself to really grow up in a way and appreciate things more.”
Additionally, Mr. Leepson shared his personal views on the Selective Service registration requirement and importance of civic duty.
“[Men who are hesitant to register with the Selective Service System], I think they should do it. It’s the law. I am in favor of national service, I think that should give a year, maybe two years of service to the country, but have a choice between the military, Peace Corps, Teacher Corps and so on.”
After receiving his honorable discharge in 1969, Mr. Leepson earned a master’s degree in history from George Washington University in 1971. In addition to being a renowned author and historian, he taught U.S. history at Lord Fairfax Community College in Warrenton, Virginia for several years. Today, he lives with his wife in Middleburg and works for Vietnam Veterans of America, helping to promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam War veterans.
You can learn more about Marc Leepson at his website https://marcleepson.com.
If you enjoyed Marc Leepson’s story, click the link below to discover more from this series.