Patrick Reilly Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
Patrick Reilly was born March 9, 1948 in Oklahoma City, OK. He grew up in a military family and in his youth his family lived in variety of locals including Texas. Reilly graduated from high school in Laredo, Texas in May 1967 and left for Marine Corp boot camp the day after graduation. He went through boot camp in San Diego and subsequent training at Camp Pendleton before being shipped to Vietnam at the age of 19. He was assigned to the Weapons Platoon of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marines Division. Reilly was wounded during the TET Offensive on January 31, 1968. After several weeks at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, Clark Field, Philippines, and Kue, Okinawa it was considered safe to transport him back to Texas - first to Corpus Christi and then to Wilford Hall, San Antonio. He was placed on Temporary Duty Retired List (TDRL). In March of 1969 the wound and the subsequent infection healed and Reilly returned to civilian life.
Frustrated and discouraged at the treatment of Vietnam veterans by the Veterans Administration and the indifference toward all of those affected by the war Reilly dropped out of college and travelled through Europe and spent time on an Israeli communal farm. In Israel Reilly was injured by mine and his left foot had to be amputated. In August of 1973 he returned to the United States and tried to continue his education only to encounter more problems with the Veterans Administration. After more travel, both in the United States and abroad, Reilly returned to Austin, Texas and become involved with various organizations that assist Vietnam veterans. He is or has been a member of the Brotherhood of Vietnam Veterans, Veterans Due Process, National Aide-de-Camp for the United Vietnam Veterans of America, the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Disabled American Veterans. He worked with Dan Jordan, founder of the Brotherhood of Vietnam Veterans, in pushing through Agent Orange legislation in the Texas Legislature. Reilly was also involved with the planning of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and fighting for veterans' right to due process.
In addition to advocating for various causes for Vietnam veterans in the United States, Reilly has be recognized for his efforts in championing the drive to help resettlement of several thousand Vietnam Vietnamese veterans who have been stranded in a number of Southeast Asia countries since the Vietnam War ended. These efforts have included testifying before Congress, travelling to Indonesia to visit the Galang Refugee Camp and working with other groups and organizations with similar goals such as Boat People S.O.S.
The Personal Papers series consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings photos, subject files and writings dating from 1968 through 2002. Of special interest in the correspondence file is a letter written to Reilly in 1980 from a Canadian woman who corresponded with Reilly during and after the war and wanted to apologize for not being able to understand and/or accept Reilly's views on the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War. Included in the photographs file are photos of Reilly at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in November of 1982 as well as photos of his journey to Indonesia and a return trip to Vietnam. The subject files consist of variety of materials relating to Vietnam veterans and their struggles upon return as well as materials about the refugee camps and resettlement plans for Vietnamese that fled Vietnam after the communist government took power.
The Brotherhood of Vietnam Veterans (BVV) series contains correspondence, distributed information , newsletters, newspaper clippings, photographs, programs and information pertaining to Agent Orange that date from 1981 to 1987. The founder of the organization, Dan Jordan, had two children born with birth defects and one of the main goals of the BVV was to disseminate information about the Agent Orange issue. The materials in the series also highlight the organization's involvement with the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and providing mental health services to veterans.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Patrick Reilly Papers (AR.2010.010). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2010/016
Donation Date: 2010
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2010
Scans of the photocopied photographs are available on an internal server - I:\Archives\Archival Collections\AR.2010.010\
Detailed Description of the Collection