Manuel Carvahlo joined the Marines out of high school in 1962 when his parents moved back to Portugal. He was eventually assigned to the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, which contained the very first US troops authorized for offensive operations in Vietnam. They landed at Da Nang on March 8, 1965, a date that stands for many as the real beginning of the Vietnam War. Manuel was one of the first 3,500 to land. He was wounded later that year and evacuated to a Navy hospital in the US. Manuel’s wartime experience troubled him and had a profound spiritual influence on his life. He eventually joined the Bruderhof religious community in Farmington, PA, which has its roots in Hutterite Anabaptism. Although Manuel is a committed pacifist, he attends VFW and American Legion meetings.
In April 2014, Vietnam veteran Manuel Carvahlo joined fellow veterans Henry Hoffstot (WWII), Dan Bonner (Vietnam), Don Johnson (Vietnam), Howard Pfeifer (WWII), Joe Cirelli (Vietnam), Pete Longstreth (WWII), and Robert Harbula (Korea) for our second veterans oral history educational project at Winchester-Thurston School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
These veterans were part of our effort to work with teachers and students to provide an interesting workshop covering the oral history process, appropriate interview questions, special considerations when interviewing veterans, active listening skills, and oral history ethics.