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C. Dillman Williams

Dillman welcomes you to read his words here.

C. Dillman Williams began his career in communications when he took a photo of his rock-n-roll band for a poster announcing an upcoming sock-hop at his Kansas high school. Other musicians saw the poster and wanted Dillman to take similar photos of their bands, thus, giving birth to a lucrative freelance photo business.

After graduating from college with a double major in journalism and television/film, Dillman entered the military and was assigned to a combat photo unit and sent to Vietnam.

While in Vietnam, Dillman and his team received assignments in all regions of the country where he made it a habit to ask the opinions of both the Vietnamese and US military personnel. It didn't take long for Dillman to realize the US government was publically projecting an official image of the war that was quite different from the reality-based image that he was gathering first-hand from people who were in the jungles, fire support bases, villages and far flung outposts. Dillman discovered that those individuals tended to have a very clear-eyed view about what was possible and what was impossible.

"Compared to the rose-colored reports Congress received," says Dillman, "I was hearing far more realistic opinions about the war from people in the field. For instance, there was one 'bird-colonel', whose unit was assigned to interdict NVA supplies and troop reinforcements coming into Vietnam, who told me 'off the record', that he felt victory was unattainable. And, that was the virtually unanimous opinion among officers who felt comfortable enough to share with me their personal opinions."

After mustering out of the military, Dillman became obsessed with finding out exactly what drew America into that war. "I discovered that I could significantly calm my PTSD by searching for the origins of our involvement in Vietnam. And, the original obsession with Vietnam eventually subsided and transcended into a broader fascination with all American history."

Over the years, Dillman has accumulated hundreds of history books and attended dozens of historical conferences and developed the ability to put together seemingly disparate tidbits of historical minutia into a larger context -- like a pointillist painting that comes into focus if one backs up far enough to see beyond the individual dots.

"I think that after 40 years of researching American history on my own, it may be time for me to share the insights I've gained with more people than just my close friends. That's the reason I have agreed to post a few thoughts each month on the Kansas Free Press.

"I will always try to reference the sources for any factual information I share. If I am ever mistaken about a fact or make a dubious connection in my comments, I hope readers will let me know so I can correct my errors. I've been pursuing the truth for 40+ years. I sure don't want to start candy-coating or ignoring the truth now."

We've been fans of Dillman's writing and insights for some time and, now, we're honored that he shares his thoughts with the Kansas Free Press readers too.

You can read entries from Dillman's complete historical archives here.

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