Stories of Honor: Despite Vietnam's horrors, 'life's been very good' for decorated Missoulian

Joshua Murdock

Note: This story discusses suicidal thoughts, violence and post-traumatic stress disorder. If you or someone you know are having thoughts of suicide, help is available from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 and suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/

Geoffrey G. Harp didn’t grow up in the type of community that saw many kids volunteer for the military during the Vietnam War. 

But he went anyway, enlisting in the Marines upon graduating high school in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1966. It was one of many notable acts in the life of a man of whom it’s simplest to ask, “What haven’t you done?” From decorated warfighter to newspaperman, Woodstock to world travel, Harp, 74, seems to have lived a real-life version of the ever history-adjacent Forrest Gump story. 

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But before he was engulfed in the horrors of the bloody Tet Offensive — and decades before he was a longtime Missoula resident, grandfather and jack-of-all-trades — Harp was just a kid growing up in a small, mostly white-collar town of academics, doctors and lawyers. His father was a professor of anthropology at nearby Dartmouth University, a bastion of Ivy League academia. Meanwhile Harp was

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