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Mat Duchek Interviewed by Macey Tullis, 2016
Name of person(s) interviewed: Mat Duchek
Other people present: N/A
Researcher: Macey Tullis
Date of interview: May 2016
Location of interview: 524 NW 5th St. Pendleton Oregon
Special conditions (noise, interruptions, etc.): Couple of cars drive by
General description of contents: How he joined the U.S. Navy and why, what some of his experiences were, and what it was like when he returned home.
Length of interview: 22:07
Time and Contents
Who I am interviewing and what part of the military he was in.
When were you first drafted or enlisted?
Why he enlisted and who he enlisted with.
Where were you living at the time?
Talked about living in Pendleton his whole life.
What was your main reason for going into the Navy?
Reason he wanted to have a choice to what he was going to do.
What do you remember about your first days in the service?
Took a plan to San Diego and the Navy took over from there.
Why did you pick your branch?
So he could be safer from combat.
Do you remember your boot camp experience?
He was hungry the whole time, but he gained weighted very quickly.
Do you remember any of your instructors?
How did you get through boot camp?
By doing the job and staying out of trouble.
Where exactly did you go?
Went to San Diego for boot camp.
Do you remember arriving and what it was like to get there?
Got there in the middle of the night and it became one blur from there.
What was your job or assignment?
Learning in boot camp and after boot camp became a signalmen.
Did you see combat?
No but was given a combat badge because they were shot at once.
Tel me about a couple of your most memorable experiences?
Didn't have a lot of really memorable experiences.
Were you awarded ay medals?
From just be at the right places at the right time.
How did you stay in touch with your family?
Mostly wrote letters and eventually talked to his family on the phone through the Elks Lodge.
What was the food that you ate like?
It was really good.
Story was told about mash potatoes.
What kind of food was served?
Basic three meals a day. Usually sandwiches for lunch.
Did you have plenty of supplies?
Yes, one of the ships was a supply ship.
How many ships were you on total?
Served on two different ships.
Did you have a lot of stress or pressure put on you?
Not a whole lot.
Was there something you had for good luck?
Not really, didn't feel that it was needed.
Did you know of anyone that had a good luck charm?
No, couldn't think of anything.
What did you do for entertainment?
Mostly watched movies.
Do you remember any of the specific movies you watched?
Not really but a lot of them were really old movies.
Did you meet any entertainers when you were in the military?
Bob Hope came at one point.
What did you do when you were on leave?
What was it like being home?
Things were different when returning home.
Did you have any family traditions when you came home?
Eating favorite meals and seeing everyone.
Where did you go?
Many places all over the world.
What was your favorite place?
What was it like being on Pearl Harbor?
Very unusual especially on December 11th
Did anyone pull any pranks on you?
Fire alarm was pulled and made it look like it was his fault.
What did you think of your fellow peers?
Pretty good people.
What was your favorite thing to do with your buddies?
Do you remember the day you returned home?
What did you do when you got home?
What did you study?
Did you benefit anything from the G.I. Bills?
Did you make any close friends while serving?
Do you still have contact with them?
Did you talk about any of your memories?
Do you belong to any military organizations?
Did being in the Navy change you in any way?
Did you have any other family in the military?
What did your parents think about you joining?
Was your career when you got back what you always wanted to do?
Did the military influence your opinion on war?
Mr. Mat Duchek