Every president from Truman to Ford lied about Vietnam. Vietnam War Stories being a Narrative of the War Experiences of the First Platoon, A Co., 1/8 Cav., First Air Cavalry Division, 1967-1968. The child was limp and very thin. But I can’t tell you if he lived. Kirsty McFadden’s father during his military service. “More than 15 years after my father Paul returned from Vietnam, I was born. The fear we felt paled in comparison to the terror that Vietnamese in the countryside of South Vietnam experienced when bombs and artillery shells landed in their villages, or when American and South Vietnamese soldiers swept through their hamlets; or the terror my relatives in North Vietnam felt when American B-52s carpet bombed in December 1972. Richard Nixon escalated the war, but he also felt the heat from a much broader antiwar coalition. Released POW, Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm, is greeted by his family. The protest movement had grown from a small group of young radicals to a broad front of people from all over society. BROWSE STORIES. The closest doctor was in the provincial city, but for local villagers, it might as well have been in another country because it was too far to walk, they didn’t have money to hire transportation and they knew that if they managed to overcome these obstacles, the medical staff wouldn’t treat them unless they paid for care, and they couldn’t pay. Still, for about half an hour I was, perhaps, part of history, a genuine, if somewhat accidental, anti-Vietnam war demonstrator.”. Old defences on the Hai Van pass, Vietnam. In our fury, we became more forceful, committing widespread civil disobedience. He died of throat cancer and was buried in this ceremony. I was a little tiny doll, significantly smaller than other children my age, and while walking at 12 months, I had a limp. On both of my combat tours, in 1968 at Huê´ during the Tet Offensive and in 1969-70 in the triple-canopy rainforests along the Cambodian border, we fought soldiers of the North Vietnamese army. The next day, he told them, pictures of her would be displayed all over the world, along with an explanation of how the hospital refused to help. The fighting dragged on for almost a decade, polarizing the American people, dividing the country and creating distrust of our government that remains with us today. Unlikely. Stories from Vietnam. Aired: 11/15/00 Rating: NR Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick discuss their new PBS documentary series 'The Vietnam War' and the importance of remembering the war at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. “My cousin Connie, named for baseball manager Connie Mack, joined the marines in 1967. What's New > Overcoming PTSD: 3 Vietnam War Veterans’ Stories. With other antiwar activists, I anguished over them all, and seethed with rage at our inability to stop the killing. I had a gladiator’s heart and no fear. South Vietnamese civilians scramble to board a helicopter during the evacuation of Saigon on April 29, 1975. In places like this, the young adults are all on the other side in armed units, or hidden from us right now, in tunnels. I asked the mother if she would bring her child when we left and I would take them to the hospital in the city. The place was Quang Nam province in the mountainous northern region of South Vietnam. This war, which had such a great impact on my life, is a dim memory today. And even with that they failed. Very lofty. Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/09/11/vietnam-war-voices/105499474/. Posters promoting an anti-Vietnam war march, Harvard Square, 1972. read more of their stories on GuardianWitness, You can read more of her story on GuardianWitness, read more of Andrew’s story on GuardianWitness. While I was in college at Northwestern from 1967 to 1971, a draft lottery was established. My dad has only recently started talking about his experiences over there ... diving out of a jeep down a 10-foot concrete stair well to avoid incoming RPG, fire fights, massive sleep deprivation, substance abuse. “The years blur it now, but sometime in the early 1970s I was in London for some reason, probably the Boat Show. Many of those who managed to escape or survive have shared their amazing stories of how they made it through. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 19.0px Times; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000}span.s1 {font-kerning: none; background-color: #e0ebf6}span.s2 {font-kerning: none}. That’s what I was remembering, standing there in front of the old woman’s sick grandchild. Read stories from diverse points-of-view about how the Vietnam War era has affected our sense of self and our place in the world. These are the kind the words thousands of people around the country use after listening to the stories some of our wounded heroes will share about the experience of recovering from the … Damaged buildings can be seen top center and bomb craters are scattered throughout the entire area. American soldiers are dropped off by U.S. Army helicopters to join South Vietnamese ground troops to advance in an attack on a Viet Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh, northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border, in March 1965 during the Vietnam War. And now, so many years after, we can say that we were right in our protests. (Photo: Courtesy of Hal Kushner). In this 70-minute film, actors recall the personal and harrowing stories of these Vietnam Veterans against the cultural, political, and historical backdrop of a war wrought in secrets and lies. No. We were called the “Hell in a Helmet” Marines. In this handout from the U.S. Air Force, F4 Phantom jets rain bombs on unspecified targets over North Vietnam, December 1965. I had experienced the tough neighborhood turf battles too often prevalent in the inner city. It was 1973 and I was very aware about the casualties of the Vietnam war. The Vietnam War, which had about one-fifth of the casualties of World War II but had lasted three times as long, had changed the country as much as the greatest cataclysm in world history. Stories from the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress. Before The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, many readers didn’t know any authors or books written from the Vietnamese perspective. The following year there was a series of corrective surgeries to save my right foot and leg. As demonstrated during Tet in ’68, the enemy could control the tempo of the war when he wished. I changed my views as I got the facts. Among the personal items returned to us by the Army … U.S. general on Vietnam War: ‘This was some enemy’, Vietnam War: A timeline of U.S. entanglement. He has no idea how long he was asleep (everything looked the same), says an enemy fighter easily could have crept to his position and killed him. Andras Toma was the longest held POW of World War II. The 1st Air Cavalry Division entered the Vietnam War 50 years ago in 1965. The Reverend Thich Quang Duc, a 73-year-old Buddhist monk, is soaked in petrol before setting fire to himself and burning to death in front of thousands of onlookers at a main highway intersection in Saigon, Vietnam, June 11, 1963. The Rev. Like many veterans he struggled finding work when he came back and was chronically underemployed until his forced retirement from a construction trade in around 2008. I returned to the village about four months later and asked how the child was doing. Eva Jefferson Paterson grew up on air force bases and enrolled in Northwestern University in 1967, where she became student body president and politically active against the war. The Vietnam War experience scarred me but also shaped and molded my perspective on life. ... Twenty years later, I had a chance to make up for my neglect. As a 19-year-old African American from the Roxbury section of Boston, I voluntarily joined the U.S. Marine Corps, willing to fight and die for my country. In 1955, we fled again when we found ourselves caught in the fighting between the army of President Ngo Dinh Diem and the armed group he was trying to eliminate, leaving behind our home, which was about to burn to the ground in the onslaught. The Air Force and Navy sent planes against two targets in North Vietnam on Jan. 31, 1966, ending the lull which began on Christmas Eve. Rural women believe it’s wrong to wash the soft part of a baby’s scalp- anyway, they don’t have soap, so the tiny insects borough in to the child’s skin. Since returning home and completing college, I have devoted 42 years working in Boston schools. Powerful stories are woven with combat footage, some of it filmed by John Laemmar, who is one of the veterans sharing personal accounts of the war and its aftermath. Mostly draftees, they were terrific soldiers. I had showered and shaved before I reported to the unit, and … GuardianWitness contributor WeeLassNZ as a baby and her father. A U.S. B-52 stratofortress drops a load of 750-pounds bombs over a Vietnam coastal area during the Vietnam War, Nov. 5, 1965. Yet until May 1970, both of those countries were off limits to U.S. ground forces. Corpsman always come with the Marines when they leave the hospital and I was pushing a wheelchair and wound up in the front row. “In early January 1967 John Mooney and I were US marines aboard the USS Iwo Jima, a helicopter carrier, off the coast of Vietnam near the Mekong Delta. It was unsuccessful and I started a long process of rehabilitation and monitoring to stop further deterioration. Three of them died and the other two were taken to North Vietnam in 1969 and held until the end of the war. Inspiring. And suddenly, March 1975, the end was there. Heroes of Vietnam: The Stories of Fallen Soldiers. Regardless of what you thought about the Vietnam war, the fact is 2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, representing almost 10% of their (very large) generation. Veterans of the Vietnam War tell their stories 40 years after the conflict ended. They were young, half a world away from home, and at war. I was once counseled by a senior officer “not to be too worried about your men.” Incredible. Numbers were drawn out of a big bin — similar to the one used for weekly state lotteries — corresponding to the days of the year. This summer, I attended the 50th reunion of my high school class in Mascoutah, Ill., across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Simultaneously, as the U.S. slid into war in Vietnam, skepticism nurtured in Mississippi led me to discover that we were stumbling into a quagmire. Well the hold over barracks are there also. The refugees had reached Australia. Eva Paterson Jefferson is seen at Northwestern University. For two decades, they fought on opposite sides, but after the war, my father and his brother reconnected as soon as they could. My school pal said, no, they are from Vietnam. I felt so happy that we could welcome them. There were no young adults around, just the elderly and some children. President Nixon's National Security Adviser Henry A. Kissinger, left, and Le Duc Tho, member of Hanoi's Politburo, are shown outside a suburban house at Gif Sur Yvette in Paris after negotiation session. I am one of those people. 1967. South Vietnamese Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the national police, fires his pistol and executes a suspected Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem (also known as Bay Lop) on a Saigon street on Feb. 1, 1968, early in the Tet Offensive. In one way or another, Vietnam has overshadowed every national security decision since. Hal Kushner joined the Army and served as a flight surgeon in Vietnam. During dinner, before we rocked out to the Beach Boys and Stevie Wonder, a group of us talked about the war in Vietnam. He was prepared and determined to keep fighting as long as he had the manpower to send south. In doing so, we meet our obligation as citizens … and become patriots. Now, 40 years later, we must try to understand. Yet, our brushes with war were terrifying enough. Within these personal essays from people who took part in the filming of The Vietnam War, are lessons about what happened, what it meant then and what we can learn from it now. A selection of quotes from interviews featured in the new PBS documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, "The Vietnam War. On the Fourth of July in five successive years, we sang patriotic songs, but very softly, so our captors couldn’t hear the forbidden words, and we cried. In 1967, he was captured by the Viet Cong after surviving a helicopter crash. The Vietnam War touched millions of lives. I was the only doctor captured in the 10-year Vietnam War. The 1980s was a time to tell the stories of the Vietnam War. Mary Ann Vecchio kneels over the body of fellow student Jeffrey Miller, who was killed by Ohio National Guard troops during an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University. Vietnam veterans from the northland share their personal stories, in their own words. But that was a decision his enemy would make - it was their option ... We got out of our jeep to look at the next village over, a few hundred yards across a rice field. He had an open sore at the base of his throat about an inch long. They were mostly young men in smart jackets and open-necked shirts as was fashionable then. What had happened to my country? 40% to 60% of those were either in combat, provided close support or were regularly exposed to enemy attack. Vietnam War Stories from a NVA Soldier Online interview between Jerry Peterson and Ngoc’s father . My dad was a career Air Force man and was stationed at Scott Air Force Base nearby in 1960. I remember being a freshman in college and actually saying to classmates who opposed to the war, “We have to support the war because the president says the war is good, and we must support the president.” Yikes! I was impressed by how the men endured it all, especially the draftees who had answered the call to service. Small Vietnamese men with kalashnikovs took over Saigon. People’s thatch homes were a little farther off, concealed by the fruit trees. The objection that the Americans liberated us, silenced gradually. In Vietnam, the radio code word for our division’s infantry companies was family. We bombed the trail incessantly, but the enemy’s ability to move troops and equipment south never seemed to slack. Our readers share first person accounts of how the Vietnam war affected them, their families and their lives today. No brass, no rules, no fucks given. National Archives and Records Administration. In this photo I’m about six weeks old. The years of war did nothing to alter their bond. Did we learn anything from that experience, which left such an indelible mark on our national psyche? Basically all the rumours you hear about that war he lived. (Photo: Courtesey of Phil Gioia). We went to the hospital where I arranged for the little boy, about five years old, to be taken care of ... By the third day, there was light in his eyes already. Oh and I also took a nap on a bed of these disarmed land mines. During my years of reporting about The work was confrontational but did not ask participants to risk arrest. Back then guys returning from the war were called baby-killers, nobody knew about PTSD or survivor’s guilt, and his mom and dad were heavy drinkers. Roger Harris enlisted in the Marines and served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. When I left, Lucy and Desi slept in twin beds. Few of us were anti-war at that time; I fully supported the war. This sign in front of the Coop (Harvard Cooperative Society) promoted a ‘Peace Day’ march in New York City on 22 April, a week sooner. Funeral procession in Ho Chi Minh City, 1968. We picked up the pieces of Marine bodies obliterated by direct hits. When we got home from the funeral Dad told me the Tet offensive at Hue had killed many of Connie’s friends during the heavy fighting but he came through uninjured. Today, I’m 31, and a living echo of a war that my country should never have been a part of and even now, so many years later I’m still paying the price.”, “I was very young. He had previously announced that he would commit suicide in protest against what he called government persecution of Buddhists. For 10 years we demonstrated in the streets of Amsterdam, walked with banners and shouted slogans against Lyndon B Johnson and Nixon. There was nothing to see except coconut and banana trees beyond the rice. I asked mum why she was crying and she said, ‘Because my daddy died’. Just behind me was a group of University Students - from Bristol I think - who sang, to the tune of Glory, Glory Hallelujah: ‘Listen, listen Mr. Nixon, why’re you dropping napalm on the children...’ I forget the rest. He spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war. I came down to the kitchen and noticed something. 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