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Doug Bradley
Madison-based Vietnam veteran Doug Bradley recently retired from nearly 30 years with the University of Wisconsin. Among other positions held, he was director of communications in the office of the UW System president, director of marketing and communications for UW Learning Innovations, and assistant director of marketing and communications for UW-Madison’s Office of Corporate Relations.

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bradley received his B. A. in English from Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia. He also holds a Masters in English from Washington State University.

Doug was drafted into the U. S. Army in March of 1970 and served as an information specialist (journalist) at U. S. Army Republic of Vietnam (USARV) headquarters in Long Binh, South Vietnam, from November 1970 to November 1971. Following his discharge and tenure in graduate school, Doug moved to Madison where he helped establish Vets House, a storefront, community-based service center for Vietnam era veterans in 1974.

Doug has written extensively about his Vietnam, and post-Vietnam, experiences. His collection of Vietnam short stories, entitled DEROS, will be published later this year. And he and UW-Madison Professor Craig Werner, chair of Afro-American Studies, are completing work on We Gotta Get Out of This Place, a book about music and the Vietnam experience. They also teach a course at the UW entitled “The U. S. in Vietnam: Music, Media and Mayhem.”

Entries by Doug Bradley

10 Boomer-Era Singers That Millennials Should Add To Their Playlist

(8) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 5:01 AM


By Doug Bradley

The recent Twitter kerfuffle over some Kanye West fans not knowing who Paul McCartney is (Really? Was it all a hoax?) made me wonder: What other worthy boomer-era singers are unknown to...

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15 Songs That Defined The Boomer Generation

(15) Comments | Posted October 5, 2014 | 6:58 AM


By Doug Bradley

We each have our own life soundtrack, especially those of us who grew up in the heyday of rock 'n' roll. Mine is heavily influenced by growing up in 1950s Philadelphia with...

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Easier Said Than Done

(3) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 5:47 PM

One of the lesser-known essentials of rock and roll history belongs to a group known as the Essex and their hit single "Easier Said Than Done." The song, released in May 1963, reigned as Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 singles list as well as the R&B chart in...

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Reborn in the USA

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 5:14 PM

The red, white, and blue summer of 1984 found me underemployed, disillusioned, and struggling to survive as a stay-at-home dad. The love and support of my wife and four year-old daughter notwithstanding, I'm not sure I would have made it through that summer, or that year, had it not been...

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The Memorial Day Writers' Project

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2014 | 4:55 PM

It took me until this Memorial Day to realize there's no place I'd rather be on the day we honor the men and women who died while serving in the U. S. Armed Forces than the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., commonly referred to as "The Wall."

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My Reel Dad

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 4:05 PM

My father, Jack Bradley, passed away five years ago May 12. One of the ways I keep my memories of him alive is posting this piece which I wrote when he died in 2009.

My father loved movies. The tiny apartment he shared with my mom was inundated with more...

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Dien Bien Fooled

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 5:33 PM

There's an incredible scene very early in Peter Davis's award-winning documentary Hearts and Minds (1974) when Georges Bidault, who served as the French Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1954, matter-of-factly reveals that then U. S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles offered the French two tactical nuclear weapons to use...

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The Whole World Wasn't Watching

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 5:31 PM

According to news reports, police in Seattle are gearing up for possible May Day protests, as are authorities in Turkey and elsewhere around the world. Some of this happens every May Day (May 1), and wherever any march or protest occurs, we'll probably know about it either via traditional media...

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Sins of the Father

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 11:37 AM

Beyond fatherhood, I always thought my major link with my dad was the fact that we were soldiers and veterans -- he of World War II and I of Vietnam. Neither of us ever talked, in detail, about what we did and what we saw during our time at war,...

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Familial Four

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 12:29 PM

When the University of Wisconsin won its first and only NCAA basketball championship in 1941, the U.S. had yet to enter World War II, my parents were early in their courting phase, and only eight collegiate teams competed for the title. Nine games were played in two venues (Madison, Wisconsin...

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Every Kid Deserves a Dick Vander Woude

(1) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 12:26 PM

A dear friend of mine, Dick Vander Woude, passed away recently and his death has been haunting me not just because of its suddenness and serendipity but because it puts an exclamation point on the end of an era of truly top-quality education in Wisconsin.

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Stayin' Alive (at 95!)

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 11:43 AM

I was a little nervous when I blogged about my mom, Lucy (Lucia) Basile Bradley, celebrating her 94th birthday last year because I didn't want to jinx her!

Well, lo and behold, she, and we, have completed one more trip around the sun, having amassed another 31,557, 600...

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Porky Chedwick Played the Platters That Mattered

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 10:13 AM

Sometimes the best life lessons come from the most unexpected of places. Take one of mine about race and poverty, for example, which came through music on the radio. The source of that music was an unimposing, white disc jockey on a small 250-watt radio station (WAMO) in Pittsburgh who...

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The Ballad of Ira Hayes

(1) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 6:03 PM

I should have realized it was the spirit of World War II hero Ira Hayes that was whispering to me every time I drove by his home near Phoenix, Arizona. I've spent much of the winter out here and have driven back and forth between Phoenix and Green Valley several...

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The Old Man and the Sea (of Stuff)

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 11:45 AM

More than 2,000 pieces of Ernest Hemingway memorabilia went digital at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston today -- everything from personalized (but unused) airmail stationery to pre-World War I notebooks and multiple passports, and everything in between. It's not that we don't already know almost everything about...

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America's Wailing Wall

(1) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 1:37 PM

It's been more than three weeks since Bruce Springsteen's latest album High Hopes debuted at # 1 on the Billboard charts.

The critical response has been kind of up and down, but since I'm not a music critic, I like to listen and focus on what moves me, what...

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Bye Bye Love

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 10:03 AM

There's not much I can add to the many tributes and well-deserved praise bestowed on the Everly Brothers by folks like Keith Richards, Paul Simon and scores of others last week upon the death of Phil Everly. Phil and his older brother Don were singular influences in the evolution of...

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Silent Knights

(1) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 5:16 AM

It wasn't until I was 23 years old that I spent my first Christmas away from home. I sure as heck didn't expect to share it with Bob Hope, Johnny Bench, Lola Falana, the Gold Diggers, Miss Universe, and 30,000 screaming GIs.

But there I was in a war,...

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Who's the British Group with the 'Most' 1960s Hits?

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 11:17 AM

Trick question, kinda. It's The Animals, because their record producer was named Mickie Most! He was responsible for the band's 11 American hits in their first two years of existence -- songs like "The House of the Rising Sun" (which allegedly caused Bob Dylan to jump out of his car...

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Draft Prospects

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2013 | 5:56 AM

(NOTE: I was part of a Veterans Recognition Panel at James Madison Memorial High School earlier last week. I'm grateful to the students, teachers, and staff for their support and appreciation. A special thanks to Geof Herman, JMM ceramics teacher extraordinaire, for organizing the recognition...

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