Local Stories

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.

Dr. Matthew D.’s Story

Shared on June 30, 2017


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.

Bullets from The Heart
For Lieutenant D. Dobbin, USMC

The dead we always have with us
like bullets of Viet Nam
buried in the dust,
empty of gunpowder–
a ray of sunlight
shines in the thickness
of the Heat.

They shine in that sunlight
bringing us memories.

Matthew Diomede, Ph.D.
University of Tampa, English Dept.

Diomede served six years in the Marine Corps Reserve but never went to Viet Nam.His prose, poetry, and translations have been published in a number of magazines, including The Centennial Review, Nimrod, and Kansas Quarterly.

Poem published in Viet Nam Generation, The Big Book, Nobody Gets off the Bus(ed. Kali Tal)and listed on-line in the Institute of Advanced Technology in the Humanities at Univ. Virginia at Charlottesville, VA.

Sponsored in part by


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