In 1968, Roger Welt was an Army combat correspondent during what would be the height of the U.S. military’s involvement in the Vietnam War with more than half a million troops in the country.

Welt’s job was to document warfare under the auspices of the U.S. Army. It sounds an awful lot like Matthew Modine’s character in the movie Full Metal Jacket, but Welt said he always felt like the disillusioned college dropout that was Charlie Sheen’s character in Platoon.

At the age of 73 and living the life of a retired community college administrator in Orcutt, Welt reflects on his purpose in an unpopular war that sparked a period of significant social change in America.