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Ronald Oakes Vietnam and Iraq war photographs

Identifier: RHC-80

Scope and Contents

Collection contains 93 digital images of Vietnam and Iraq. Vietnam-era photoraphs were scanned from original prints.


  • 1968-2005


Access to Materials

Collection is open for research use. Materials may be accessed by request at Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House. Materials do not circulate.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright retained by creator.

Biographical Note

Ron Oakes was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in March 1949. After briefly attending junior college, he enlisted in June 1967 and received training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot and Camp Pendleton, California. He then received instruction in the Vietnamese language before being sent to Vietnam. Once he arrived, he was trained as a radio operator and assigned to a squad in the 27th Marine Regiment in the Da Nang area, soon becoming his platoon's radio operator, and saw extensive combat experience. When the 27th was rotated home, he was reassigned to 4th Marines at Quang Tri, and operated between Quang Tri and Hue before being sent inland toward Khe Sanh. While in this area, he contracted dysentery and was sent to a hospital ship where he spent a month aboard a hospital ship before being returned to his unit. When his tour was over, re was sent home and discharged in 1969. After returning from Vietnam in 1969, Ron Oakes married, earned a degree in electronics and traveled around the Midwest working. Eventually, he and his family moved back to Michigan, where Oakes joined the National Guard. As part of the Guard, Oakes helped provide security for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia and deployed to Iraq in 2005 for eleven months. While in Iraq, Oakes performed a variety of jobs, including being a property book manager for his entire brigade stationed at FOB “Q-West”, a former Iraqi Air Force base between Balad and Mosul. After the eleven-month deployment, Oakes returned to the United States with the rest of his unit and continued serving in the Guard until March 2009, when he retired at the age of sixty.


60 Megabytes (93 files)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ronald Oakes.

Existence and Location of Originals

Original Vietnam photographs were retained by the donor.

Related Materials

Veterans History Project interviews (RHC-27)

Ronald Oakes Vietnam and Iraq war photographs
Special Collections & University Archives
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Grand Valley State University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Seidman House
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401 United States