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A Death in the Family

A Death in the Family

On October 7, 1968, Billy Van Tassel died in the Long An Province of South Vietnam.  His unit operated near Tan Tru, an area characterized by hard fighting and heavy casualties. He was from Scarsdale, New York, and was two months shy of his twenty-first birthday.  He was my second cousin, though I never knew him.  He died fifty years ago today. Because I am a historian, I tend to think a lot about the past. It’s an obvious statement,…

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