Share your story

In conjunction with the upcoming PBS documentary film series, THE VIETNAM WAR, by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick to be released in 2017, WEDU PBS is inviting Vietnamese Americans, veterans and their families to share their experiences. Stories will be made available to the public on-air or online, pending station approval. Submissions may be in writing, photographs, audio or video.

 

MATURE SUBJECT MATTER, VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: WEDU is honored to present the personal Vietnam War experiences of our local citizens. The stories presented here have not been edited and are presented as originally shared by the author. The content may contain coarse language, images, or remembrances that may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

 

Vivian P.’s Story

"I and my family all heard gunshooting every year, i tried my best to sleep in my mother arm in her basket to ran away from war, i seen death innocences, weakness veteranm survivior,vietnam soldiers, and criminal bloods on grown, i knew evrything that happened in my country while we just dug canned food,and living hunger,thirst like fasts in old shelter, we never dared to cry, " Keep Reading

 

William A.’s Story

"I went to Vietnam as a marine in 1967 and was assigned to bridge security in the DaNang area and after Tet I was moved to Dong Ha for the last 3 months of my tour. In 1969 I returned for a 2nd tour in Chu Lai that lasted 12 months. After leaving the marines I joined the navy in 1975 and my first deployment was on the USS Midway, CV-41 as it participated in the Saigon evacuation known as Operation Frequent Wind. " Keep Reading

 

Mike H.’s Story

"I was a student at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in 1973. My girlfriend was a teacher at Athens High School. I joined her as a chaperone at one of the school dances one weekend. Paula introduced me to one of her French students, a lovely Asian girl. Told me her father was Dean of Fine Arts at the university, Henry Lin." Keep Reading

 

Angelo A.’s Story

"I was in Viet Nam for 3 months as a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps and a the squad leader of the 1st squad 1st platoon of G-2-7 1st Mar Div. I was made the squad leader about two weeks after my arrival in Viet Nam.. I pride myself that I had not lost a man either WIA or KIA and believed I would not loose any, part of that 18 year old sense of infallibility and cockiness. On November 25, 1966 I was ordered on a special patrol with my squad, reinforced. We were looking for four VC that was spotted by a Marine Recon patrol. " Keep Reading

 

John K’s Story

"My story is that I spent almost the entire year of 1970 in Vietnam as an army soldier. I was stationed most of the time at a small Army Airbase about 30 miles from Saigon. I did the dirty work such as pulling all night perimeter guard, building bunkers and stringing barbed wire. I was supposed to be just a general clerk, but volunteered for various jobs to off the base since we spent 24/7 on base with all areas outside this small base off limits due to fear of Viet Cong." Keep Reading

 

Ben K.’s Story

"Although too young to serve at the time my Father was in the Air Force and I was raised on military bases. It was not unusual to find out your friends Dad died in Vietnam and they had to move off base. In 1968 my Brother entered the US Army and spent 13 months in Vietnam so I was no stranger to having family there. Around the same time my older sister dated a fellow who was in the Air Force and I remember he used to come over to the house for dinner to spend time with her and my family. He never came back from Vietnam. We never spoke about it." Keep Reading

 

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Kenneth S.’s Story

"Served in Viet Nam April of 66 till Apr of 67, Wounded by friendly fire, Radio Operator, Platoon Leader, Left Viet Nam as Spc 4. made Sargent on return to states. Was exposed to Agent orange, suffered prostate cancer. Treated by VA," Keep Reading

 

Rick J.’s Story

"Ambushed @ Hill 861 near Khe Sanh Vietnam. Mike Co. 3/9. We were flown into Khe Sanh Combat Base in the Republic of Vietnam and started humping it as soon as our feet hit the pierced steel plank runway. We followed the narrow foot path into the hills heading west, passing several other Marine units along the way. The order march had us spearheading the assault on Hill 881 South where the North Vietnamese Army had fortified bunkers." Keep Reading

 

Thomas A.’s Story

"Here's a link to the sketchbook of Vietnam War platoon buddies of New Orleans artist & astronomer John T. Brown (Long Dinh, 1969). I inherited after John passed away, and scanned & posted the pages for Ken Burns' project. Being a writer and good friend, I jotted down many 'nam stories John told me over many years. Many were tragic, horrifying; some humorous. The bigger story, however, is what John did with his life-after-Vietnam, despite returning to New Orleans with full-blown PTSD. " Keep Reading

 

M. Nickell’s Story

"A young man special to me was MIA in Vietnam for 24 years. During that time, I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and wrote the following poem. After all these years, I’m here. Not for goodbye. When I’m honest, I know there never will be goodbye. Maybe for comfort. But the place seems stark, bleak. Someone has a book to help me find the names by year, by month. Death in chronological order. Here’s the date. Look at all those names. In one month. Of one year. I move closer to The Wall. Someone is taking pictures. I don’t want a picture." Keep Reading

 

Katharine K.’s Story

"On my 16th bday mom gotten sentimental. She gave me a hand written letter from my dad he wrote from Vietnam when I was born. From the original envelope, dated June 1966 I pulled out a faded letter of the great news of becoming a father while serving his 1st. tour in combat.“My Dearest Sue, I’m happiest man in world today.” Telling his wife how proud he was of his baby being born on D-day but 22 yrs. later. I imagining the sounds of his Polish accent in the room with us. I felt a connection to my daddy." Keep Reading

 

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Annie C.’s Story

"I was a Donut Dollie during the war and was stationed at Long Binh, DaNang, and Phu Bai in 1969-70. We were part of the Red Cross program to bring some laughter and stress relief to GIs in the field and sometimes in Service Clubs. We had to be single and college graduates, and signed up to serve for one year. We lived in BWQs of 4 to 12 on military posts, and traveled in pairs to base camps and remote firebases by jeep and helicopter, seeing those men who could be spared from their duties for about an hour once a week." Keep Reading

 

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Robert S.’s Story

"Between November 1966 and December 1968 I served as a Gunner aboard the USS Westchester County (LST 1167) in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam. We carried a company of the 9th Infantry Division and provided transport and support for their operations throughout the Delta, operating primarily in the vicinity of our base camp at Dong Tam." Keep Reading

 

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Clifford M.’s Story

"Excerpt from OUT THE WIRE, a Vietnam memoir. It is difficult to explain to those on the sidelines why so many infantry soldiers struggle with guilt long after the cries of battle cease. In terms of the overall experience, you must eventually defend your existence to yourself, and survive your own survival. The dissonance of combat echoes when all seems safe." Keep Reading

 

Douglas S.’s Story

"I entered the military just out of high school in Sept.1963.Trained as an aviation machinist.My first assignment was Incirlick Air Force base in Adana, Turkey.Eighteen months later went to Nha Trang,Vietnam in Oct.1965.The beginning of the escalation had started.Approximately 90,000 U.S. Personnel.I worked out of an old semi trailer that was fitted with primitive equipment.Our unit was eventually assigned to the 14th Air Commando Wing.Now for the forgotten story hardly noticed by history!" Keep Reading

 

Lynwood S.’s Story

"I served in Vietnam with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine regiment,1st Marine Division from January 1967 to December 1967. We were a combat Operational Battalion and our mission was to protect the Chu Lai Airbase from ground attack and rocket attack and our territory of responsibility was from Tam Ky just south of Chu Lai to South of Da Nang. The area we controlled was Que Son valley, a large rice producing area and both the NVA and the local VC wanted to control the area to feed their troops. we were in the field continually locating the enemy and destroying them. " Keep Reading

 

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Anne R.’s Story

"I was one of the approximately 10,000 women who served in-country in Vietnam during the war. I was stationed at the Station Hospital, Naval Support Activity, Danang RVN from January to May 1970. The NSA station hospital was at one point an 800 bed combat casualty hospital. I highlight this because so few people know that the Navy had medical facilities on the ground in Vietnam. Most think that there were only the hospital ships." Keep Reading

 

Dr. Matthew D.’s Story

"I served honorably in the US Marine Corps Reserve from 1959-1965 though I never went to Viet Nam. My buddy Louis D. Dobbin II died in Viet Nam, and I wrote the poem below after seeing his name on the Visiting Viet Nam Wall at St. Louis University. 1st Lt. Louis D. Dobbin II of Brighton, MA and NY was a member of H&S, CO, 1st BN. 3rd Marines, 3rd MARDIV. He died serving his country on 18 May 1967. He graduated from Boston College and is listed on the Boston College Memorial for Veterans. He is buried in Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, N.Y." Keep Reading

 

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John Langley’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - John Langley was a Sentry Dog Handler for the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam. He shares memories of his dog, Vogie, and describes the role of military dogs." Keep Reading

 

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Byron H.’s Story

"I was the Battalion Surgeon for Col.David Hackworths Hardcore Recondo 4/39 Battalion. I wrote my memoirs in a book VIETNAM 1968-69 A BATTALION SURGEON'S JOUNAL. My son John Holley who worked at Google HQ in NYC at the time met Ken Burns and gave him a copy of my book. He showed some interest in it then. In 1994 I returned to Nam and on returning home I wrote a book about my return trip, VIETNAM: A BATTALION SURGEON RETURNS. I recently did a Video interview for the Vietnam History Project of the Library of Congress and a copy of that interview is on file at the Library of Congress." Keep Reading

 

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Dan D.’s Story

"Last year, I published a memoir, "Brother, Brother" as a tribute to my older brother Rich who returned from the Vietnam War with undiagnosed PTSD symptoms. He became a Flower Child/Jesus Freak and in the spring of 1970 moved to Corrales, New Mexico to live in a commune. In December of '70, my mom got a postcard from a woman named Dee who wrote, "Rich and I went to the Rio Grande, dropped LSD, and when I woke up he was gone." We never heard from Dee or Rich ever again. I've been searching for him for almost fifty years and am still trying to find out what happened to him. My memoir; mostly truth, part fiction is based on a true story. A brother drives cross-country with the spirit of his older brother to relive the intersection of their lives and unravel the impact of the older brother's forty-five year disappearance." Keep Reading

 

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Vince S.’s Story

"I was an Air Force 1LT, and started my 12 month scheduled tour in Vietnam in Dec '70. I flew the C-7 Caribou, a twin-engine short take-off and landing transport aircraft, and we air supplied US and Vietnamese Rangers and Special Forces, primarily along the northern and western boundaries of South Vietnam. We flew into airstrips that were rugged and short - a number were barely 1,000' long. The flying was occasionally dangerous, since we flew primarily at low levels and were subject to ground fire. And on the small airstrips, we were sitting ducks." Keep Reading

 

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Richard Pace’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - Richard Pace shares memories of life before and after serving in Vietnam, and the significance of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall." Keep Reading

 

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Linda Pugsley’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - Linda Pugsley shares her memories of life as an Air Force flight nurse in Vietnam." Keep Reading

 

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Bob Dean’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - Bob Dean was a technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and helped initiate an African-American council to deal with racial issues in the Air Force." Keep Reading

 

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Jack Evans’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - Jack Evans served on the ground for the U.S. Marines while in Vietnam, going out on patrols and taking mortar fire regularly." Keep Reading

 

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Juri T.’s Story

"When I walked with my copilot, warrant officer Watson to my helicopter to get ready for another troop insertion mission, I noticed a couple of rabbits hopping in the field next to our parking ramp. This reminded me that it was Easter morning. I told Mr. Watson that we should see if the bunnies had left any Easter eggs for us when we return. We were going on another mission in support of a Vietnam infantry battalion, which had been given the task of finding and destroying Vietkong units that had been attacking them." Keep Reading

 

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Dan LaFleur’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - Dan LaFleur piloted helicopters for the U.S. Army in Vietnam, covering night and day patrols." Keep Reading

 

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Meg Ginnetti’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - Meg Ginnetti was a nurse in the U.S. Air Force, treating wounded soldiers in Vietnam." Keep Reading

 

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Debby M.’s Story

"Tom voluntarily enlisted into the USMC in February of 1962. He never talked much about the War, but he served 2 tours there And ironically while in Vietnam her received his Draft notice. Occasionally he would talk about TET and Khe Shan and and Dong Ha and how they made him realize that , someone actually was trying to kill him." Keep Reading

 

Ron S.’s Story

"I got the top bunk, first row by the door. The guy in the bunk beneath me looks like he’s 40 years old… looks like Popeye, wink and all. I introduce myself an’ he says his name is Haird, Haird White. Just to be sure I asked, “Your name again?” He repeats, “Haird.” I ask Haird where he’s from and he says, “Wes’ Ginya.” Believe me, it’s easier for you to read it than for me to understand what he said. This was my first experience with any accent other than Philly, New York, or Boston. " Keep Reading

 

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Jan and Gordon Bassett’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - Jan and Gordon Bassett share their emotional memories of Gordon’s return home from Vietnam." Keep Reading

 

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Clement Hill’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - Clement Hill coordinated helicopter missions for the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam. He shares his memories of the Donut Dollies." Keep Reading

 

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Roger Hassard’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - Roger Hassard commanded a patrol vessel for the U.S. Coast Guard on the Mekong Delta, looking for guns or weapons headed to the North Vietnamese Army." Keep Reading

 

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Gary Martin’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - Gary Martin provided gun support and flew an attack helicopter for the U.S. Army while in Vietnam." Keep Reading

 

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James Roger’s Story

"Part of The Vietnam War: Voices from the Bay - James Rogers ran convoys and truck battalions for the U.S. Army in Vietnam, taking supplies to fire bases, and was often ambushed along the trails." Keep Reading

 


Sponsored in part by

R.O.C.

Retired Officers’ Corporation at Freedom Plaza

Production Credits: THE VIETNAM WAR is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington D.C. Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Written by Geoffrey C.  Ward.  Produced by Sarah Botstein, Lynn Novick and Ken Burns.

Funding Credits: Funding provided by: Bank of America; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; PBS; David H. Koch; The Blavatnik Family Foundation; Park Foundation; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; National Endowment for the Humanities; The Pew Charitable Trusts; Ford Foundation Just Films; Rockefeller Brothers Fund; and Members of The Better Angels Society: Jonathan & Jeannie Lavine, Diane & Hal Brierley, Amy & David Abrams, John & Catherine Debs, Fullerton Family Charitable Fund, The Montrone Family, Lynda & Stewart Resnick, The Golkin Family Foundation, The Lynch Foundation, The Roger & Rosemary Enrico Foundation, Richard S. & Donna L. Strong Foundation, Bonnie & Tom McCloskey, Barbara K. & Cyrus B. Sweet III, The Lavender Butterfly Fund