Radio host Brother Wease remembers his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam

Posted at: 11/12/2012 5:17 PM
Updated at: 11/12/2012 5:32 PM
By: Christine VanTimmeren

On Veterans' Day, News10NBC honors and remembers those who sacrificed so much for our country. Brother Wease talked about his experiences on the radio Monday morning. He talked about his time in Vietnam and even played a recording that he made while he was over there.

Brother Wease says Vietnam was extremely tough for a bunch of 19 and 20-year-olds, like he was, he was glad he had the experience and made those bonds with his fellow soldiers. But the recordings tells tell a different story, a story about a young kid trying to cope with some of life's most terrible realities in a country he knew nothing about.

People know him as Brother Wease on 95.1 The Brew. He's the off the cuff radio host with plenty to say. But on Veterans' Day for the past few years, he's shared the mic with a voice from 1966. The voice of 19-year-old Alan Levin, as he was known back then.

Sent overseas to fight in Vietnam, no home cooked meals, no clean beds to lay in, no assurance he'd make it through the day.

Brother Wease said, “I was in the northern highlands of Vietnam and it was cold. And we were cold and wet. It was terrible. Leeches and mountains, so you really loved your guys you know.”

But while most guys were sending letters back to their families and friends. Wease's friends sent him a tape recorder, a way to hear about the war from the actual voice of a soldier.

Brother Wease said, “It's pretty uncomfortable for me. Very uncomfortable for me to hear them, and interesting because it was my life.”

Wease said his colonel told him and fellow soldiers to burn down a small village full of women and children. It was one of the hardest things for him to listen to now.

Brother Wease said, “People should hear some reality. Which this is real, this is not any fake crap, and it's ugly. it's ugly and nasty but it's true.”

Which is exactly why he wants his listeners to hear these tapes. The glory of war is not what he experienced in the two years he served in Vietnam. But it's the glory of life and bonds forged with those who made it and those who didn't, that he carries with him every Veterans' Day.

Brother Wease said, “ It was like a movie, I mean it was an unbelievable experience. I'm lucky to be alive and I'm lucky to be this old now.”

Brother Wease has more than 25 minutes of bits that he recorded and sent back. Some of it so disturbing News10NBC wasn't able to air it.

Most of the recordings he does while he's sitting in a bunker with his buddies. They say things in the recordings as well. There's only one time that where you hear an explosion in the background, but it didn't seem to be threatening them at the time.