An American soldier wears a hand lettered "War Is Hell" slogan on his helmet, Vietnam, 1965

AP photojournalist Horst Faas took this iconic photo with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion on defense duty at Foc Vinh Airstrip in South Vietnam on June 18, 1965, during the Vietnam War.

The headband message "War is Hell" reflects a scathing attitude of several young American soldiers who were likely drafted and sent into the jungles of far southeast Asia to engage in deadly and gruesome battles.

Many soldiers had graffiti on their helmets with inscriptions of their point of view where they were and why they were there.

Contrast is what makes this photo iconic. There you have it, the bright, young handsome soldier with a smile on his face and then you have the text on his helmet. Take out the helmet, and it could easily be a high school yearbook photo.

There is a sense of innocence on his face, but when you look at his helmet, you can tell he is anything. You know he has seen firsthand the horrors of war and is trying to cover it from the outside.

The soldier's identity was unknown for several decades until he was recently identified as Larry Wayne Chaffin of St. He served with that brigade in Vietnam for exactly one year, starting in May 1965, and was 19 when the photo was taken.

On his return from Vietnam, Chaffin had many problems adjusting to civilian life. He died at the age of 39 from complications resulting from diabetes, a disease he may have contracted from exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. He died in 1985.

The quote "War is Hell" originates from William Tecumseh Sherman's address to the graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy (June 19, 1879), but slightly different accounts of this speech have been published. Sherman was a Union Army general during the American Civil War. He joined General U.S.A. as commander of the Western Theater of that war in the spring of 1864. Grant's successor. Full Quote:

"I've been where you are now and I know how you feel. It's completely natural that every one of you should have a hope and desire in your chest that someday you'll have acquired the skills here." Press it!

You do not know the terrible aspects of war. I have gone through two wars and I know that. I have seen cities and houses in ashes. I have seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the sky. I tell you, war is hell!".

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