Major General Douglas O. Dollar Distinguished Public Service Award
Peter C. Rollins
Captain Peter C. Rollins, a Marine Vietnam veteran and PhD Regents Professor of english at Oklahoma State University for 33 years, was born 1 April 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, and died 23 March 2015 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. His father and brother were Marines. During his freshman year at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, Rollins enlisted in the Marine Corps ROTC Platoon Leader Program. He later transferred to Harvard University and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in June 1963.
Rollins served three years active duty, including 13 months in Vietnam where his assignments included weapons platoon commander, patrol leader, and adviser to the South Vietnamese Army. Military awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and Pistol Expert Badge.
As an OSU professor, Rollins made a number of efforts to counteract what he believed was misreporting of the Vietnam War. He created college courses examining the portrayal of wars, and made films depicting America's wars. He produced four television documentary films on Vietnam: (1) The Impact of Visual Images: a Study of the 1968 Tet Offensive; (2) The Real Story of Vietnam; (3) The Impact of Media; and (4) The Battle of Khe Sanh. Actor Charlton Heston narrated two of the films that were aired by the Public Broadcasting System. The films were also shown to civic, veteran, and Vietnamese émigré groups. In addition to creating college courses and film, Rollins authored numerous publications and books explaining military service and how it is represented in public media and popular culture. He wrote a novel entitled Why We Fought.
Rollins has received many awards, including the 2011 Oklahoma Humanities Award. He is now the 2017 recipient of the Major General Douglas O. Dollar Distinguished Public Service Award for his continued service and dedicated work in support of veterans and the US military.