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Tyrone T. Dancy

U.S. Army soldier Tyrone T. Dancy was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dancy was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969 and went on to serve in the Vietnam War with the 199th light infantry brigade. Following a brief tour of duty, Dancy returned to the United States and continued his education. He graduated from Pierce Junior College with his A.A. degree in arts and humanities and then enrolled at LaSalle University where he received his B.A. degree in sociology and psychology in 2005, and his M.A. degree in communications in 2007.

In April of 1977, Dancy began his career with the State Labor Department of Pennsylvania as a disabled veteran’s outreach program specialist. Throughout his twenty-five year career, he has provided employment assistance and guidance to thousands of veterans. In 1990, Dancy worked as a local veteran’s employment representative. He then served as a veteran’s program function supervisor for twelve years before retiring on November 22, 2002. Dancy also served for a short time as the chairperson of the Pennsylvania International Association of Personnel in Employment Security (IAPES) Veterans Committee as well as the vice chairperson of the IAPES National Veterans Committee.

Throughout the early 1990s, Dancy wrote a bi-weekly column entitled, “On Point” for the Philadelphia Leader. This led him to write and self-publish the book, Serving Under Adverse Conditions, which discloses the struggles of Vietnam veterans. Dancy went on to co-produce, “Letters from the Attic,” a play about African American war veterans. Dancy also serves as host and producer of the Veterans Hour Radio Program on WDAS-AM 1480 in Philadelphia.

Dancy has been honored by numerous civic organizations for his work on behalf of veterans. He received the Dean K. Phillips Award from the National Veterans Training Institute as well as an award from the National Office of Vietnam Veterans of America for his leadership in the passage of legislation for a Veterans Bill of Rights in the State of Pennsylvania. Dancy was presented with a Senatorial Citation in 1994 from Senator Allyson Y. Schwartz of Pennsylvania for his leadership on veterans issues. Dancy’s military honors include the Bronze Star for Heroism with the “V” for Valor, the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in combat, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Army Commendation, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Combat Infantry Badge.

Tyrone T. Dancy was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 03/25/2013.

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Pierce Junior College

La Salle University

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Keep praying until it comes about.

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Author, (ret.) U.S. combat veteran, and deacon Tyrone T. Dancy (1947 - ) , author of Serving Under Adverse Conditions, is a combat Vietnam veteran who was awarded the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Bronze Star for Heroism with the “V” for Valor, and the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in combat.


United States Army

Pennsylvania State Department of Labor


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Navy Blue

Timing Pairs

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Tyrone Dancy's interview</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Tyrone Dancy lists his favorites</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Tyrone Dancy describes his mother's family background pt.1</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Tyrone Dancy describes his mother's family background pt.2</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Tyrone Dancy describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Tyrone Dancy talks about his father's career in the U.S. Navy</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Tyrone Dancy describes how his parents met</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Tyrone Dancy discusses his relationship with his father, which parent he takes after, and his four siblings</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Tyrone Dancy describes his relationship with his siblings and his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Tyrone Dancy lists his siblings' birth dates</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Tyrone Dancy describes his growing up in Pennsylvania pt.1</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Tyrone Dancy describes his growing up in Pennsylvania pt.2</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Tyrone Dancy remembers the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Tyrone Dancy talks about his experience in elementary and junior high school</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Tyrone Dancy talks about working in a grocery store and his junior high school shop class</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Tyrone Dancy recalls being a sharp dresser and an average student in junior high school</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Tyrone Dancy describes his experience in high school</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Tyrone Dancy describes his high school experiences and his part-time job working at a shoe store</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Tyrone Dancy describes the church of his youth and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Tyrone Dancy talks about vocational school and being drafted into the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Tyrone Dancy describes his basic training at Fort Bragg and his advanced training at Fort McClellan</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Tyrone Dancy talks about his military duty in Vietnam in 1969</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Tyrone Dancy talks about his assignment to the 199th Infantry Brigade and training in Vietnam</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Tyrone Dancy describes his first mission in My Lai, Vietnam</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Tyrone Dancy describes his experience in combat during the Vietnam War and being injured by a rocket attack</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Tyrone Dancy describes his injuries from the rocket attack pt.1</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Tyrone Dancy describes his injuries from the rocket attack pt.2</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Tyrone Dancy discusses his transfer from the battlefield to the hospital</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Tyrone Dancy describes recovering from injuries from the Vietnam battlefield pt.1</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Tyrone Dancy describes recovering from injuries from the Vietnam battlefield pt.2</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Tyrone Dancy discusses his assignment to clerical duty following injuries he sustained in Vietnam</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Tyrone Dancy talks about being medically discharged from the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Tyrone Dancy discusses the medals he received for his service in the Vietnam War</a>

<a href="">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Tyrone Dancy talks about friends who died in Vietnam and transitioning into civilian life</a>







Tyrone Dancy describes his growing up in Pennsylvania pt.2
Tyrone Dancy talks about his assignment to the 199th Infantry Brigade and training in Vietnam
All right. Well, continue (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--So it was a--that's when I learned about really an intense and increased gang activity. They were shooting and then there was the element of drugs which I didn't learn about in West Philadelphia; I was neither a participant, a user, nor a transferor of such things. Once again I'm on a peripheral level of that and by me living there, it was assumed by those guys in other areas that I was part of what they considered the Valley; you're part of the Valley. The Valley consisted--they consid--the definition would be you have three high rise buildings in this large complex structure, and in the middle would be mostly where the gang wars would take place, almost like a coliseum and a Roman--a Roman coliseum where you would battle and duel and that sort of thing. No, I was not caught up in that, I was a spectator, seeing it happen.$$How did you stay out of that?$$One, by not participating. But now, you would say "Well how come you wasn't drawed in it or compelled?" All I can say it was a blessing (laughter); it was never compelled for me to participate by no one. No one sit back and say "You--when we fight, we wanna see you out there." It wasn't that sorta thing because I was not part of a gang. Well they didn't know my name, I was just living in that type of environment that I did not participate in. But, I was subject for injury because I was in that type of environment.$$Yeah, I know a lot of people (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--So I, I would get (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--compelled to join anyway.$$Yeah, I would get challenged as far as early in the morning getting ready to go to school, [Thomas] Fitzsimons [Junior High School], 26th and Cumberland; gangs would stop me, but I was fortunate or blessed enough to get out of that because they neither took me as a target so they neither--they did not do harm to me, they just questioned me as far as where I was from, and so that's how it went.$$Okay. Do you think it's because you didn't get there until you were sixteen [years old] that they really didn't recruit you? You think you were too old or--$$No, I never gave it thought and I don't know why, you know, how that developed. But I didn't--I think the key thing--I didn't hang out, I didn't loiter, I didn't do that type of things; I avoided it. It didn't appeal to me.$Okay, so your base was at Long Binh [Vietnam], right? And that's L-O-N-G and B-I-N-H?$$(NODDING HIS HEAD YES).$$And so what was Long--it was hot, now we know that--$$Right.$$--but how many soldiers were there?$$That was a processing center; that was your introduction to get you assigned to a unit processing; administration, getting adapted to the environment, and then actually the assignment to your unit; then you would be flown out with the other individuals that's assigned to either near where you're going or assigned to the unit you're going to. And of course my being the 199th Infantry Brigade--Long Binh.$$So you're assigned the 199th Infantry Brigade and--okay, so do you remember who your leaders were?$$No.$$Okay. Well, continue; you know this story now better than I can ever enhance (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--So, we're being flown into Long Binh and night falls; we're coming in--I believe the early evening, and we began to receive fire, or weapontry fire from the ground towards the plane we're on and the pilots say we cannot land, we're under attack, we have to circle until the incoming fire is subdued, and we're gonna circle and stay above ground as long as we can, as long as we have fuel. So that had us circle, and circle until that fire was contained--the gunfire at the plane. So we finally landed in the Long Binh area and we got out and got assembled and assigned to our units, and then we had a meal, whatever the meal was; I was not very hungry so I didn't eat. And so the next day we began training to get ourselves acclimated to the hot conditions in which we were in. So we began running, we began practicing fire, we began dealing with land mines--how to dismantle, disable a land mine, how to detect land mines, how to use effectively hand grenades, and once again running, learning to breathe properly, then going through training about who we're dealing with, what's guerrilla warfare, being enlisted to join possibly other units that would be a squad such as a three-man team, how to act as a listening post, to go out where the enemy is but don't be detected, and how to move without being detected, and all those guerrilla war factors. And finally, after the training, comes the day of my first mission.$$How long was the training?$$Well, let's see, it--two weeks.$$Okay.$$Through all that getting in the culture of Vietnam, two weeks.$$Okay. We're gonna pause (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--It coulda been, it coulda--yeah, within two weeks I--it coulda been as close as the second week.