You’re listening to the voice of Thomas Billard, an audio letter from Saigon to Central New York during the Vietnam War.

You’re on the Sound Beat.

Billard enlisted in the Army in July 1968 and volunteered to go to Vietnam, where he served from August 1970 to May 1971. In addition to writing traditional letters back and forth, Billard and the family back home sent a number of audio letters, recording and sharing their details of daily life.

The Billard Tapes have been fully digitized at the Special Collections Research Center at the Syracuse University Libraries. Check them out here. There’s a fascinating story behind the digitization of these tapes. Read more at The Living Record, the SCRC blog.