A Vietnam War Story. However, like Gustafson, he says he has been deeply moved by some of the documentaries made about Vietnam. “I think it’s a vindication of the idea that the Vietnam War remains very much in the American consciousness.”. “My baseball coach, who was also chief of the fire department, made them stand and respect the flag. Nguyen and Gustafson think that while these images of children caught in war can still have an impact, the possibility of them moving us to take action has been reduced. [2¾ min read]. It also went a step further, explicitly describing the war as one of “noble sacrifice” — a perspective on the war that has also found favor among Republicans. “They did a super job,” he said. Of … “Looking back, I realized that rage had rendered it impossible for me to be an American. Pham Thi Phuc married Tran Huu Naghi, a decorated North Vietnamese soldier who was shot through the neck and sprayed with Agent Orange during the Tet offensive. Communist forces had already started shelling the airport when U.S. marines flew Luong, his father — an officer in the South Vietnamese marine corps — mother and seven sisters to a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Hancock. “We asked our father ‘Dad, where are we?’ He said ‘We’re on a U.S. carrier.’ We said ‘What does that mean?’ And he replied, ‘It means nothing in the world can harm you now.’”. One I particularly remember showed a woman weeping over the remains of her husband that were in a small garbage bag.”. Luong believes that among Vietnamese who arrived in the U.S. as young adults and those who served in the South Vietnamese army, anger still lingers over what is perceived as a sense of abandonment, even betrayal, by the U.S. “Resentment persists among the diaspora, especially among South Vietnamese officers and those left behind to suffer communist re-education camps and all the oppression that followed,” Luong said, noting that he personally doesn’t have those feelings, although his father and his father’s comrades certainly did. I was 10 to 15 years old when I first saw these types of images, and they were devastating for me. October 18, 2020 — 24 Comments. War Stories on DVD as told at the 2006 VHPA Reunion. Americans are still arguing about the Vietnam War, and the arguments today have changed very little from those that raged when the conflict was in full swing: Was it a good or a bad war? Children symbolically represent innocence, and we share a global ethic of caring for them. The first episode premiered on PBS on September 17, 2017. An important outlet for these efforts is The Conversation, an independent source for informed commentary and analysis written by the…, To test her students’ knowledge of history in a more social, casual setting, USC Dornsife’s Lindsay O’Neill hosts an online pub trivia-style competition pitting Trojans against Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish. We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. As the first hypnotic notes of The Doors’ “The End” played over a lush, idyllic Vietnamese jungle, 10-year-old Viet Thanh Nguyen’s eyes widened as the peaceful green palm trees erupted into a fiery, orange inferno. Even when such images do emerge, their impact is diminished, Nguyen said. America hadn’t seen images like that before, so it had tremendous shock value. The Chinese dubbed the American unit, “Golden Dragons,” because of their fierce fighting spirit. The building at 727 Tran Hung Dao in Ho Chi Minh City – also known as Saigon – was a building that housed American service members for much of the Vietnam War. We sent a writer out to Vietnam to speak with Nguyen Hoa Giai. 4 Creepy Ghost Stories From the Vietnam War Saigon's haunted apartments. Follow Us We asked viewers how they experienced the events of the Vietnam era. Podcast: Mother Nature and the Infantry Soldier. My grandmother was a war photographer in Quang Tri. Calley Jr., March 16, 1968, in My Lai, South Vietnam. BROWSE STORIES. A Vietnam War Story. Between 1975 to 1992, almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War, in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for 1972 VIETNAM WAR VIETNAMESE TROOPS ON DUTY DURING THE CONFLICT ORG VTG Photo Y34 at the best online prices at eBay! No One Really “Survives” a War Intact. War Stories on DVD as told at the 2007 VHPA Reunion. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK", North Vietnamese Soldiers | © manhhai/Flickr. A Vietnam War Story. The … Steve, California, 1970. It’s the story of Vietnam’s destruction and self-destruction, as seen through the eyes of a woman who was once a girl growing up in a community and family corrupted by war, who, as a teenager, became a refugee in Saigon living among both American and South Vietnamese soldiers. Just as Nguyen’s world was turned upside down by watching Apocalypse Now, Gustafson experienced a cataclysmic awakening when, as a junior at Yale University in 1974, he saw the anti-war documentary Hearts and Minds, which affected him so much emotionally he couldn’t sleep at night. “We barely escaped,” Luong said. Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam by Nick Turse. The traditional historiography of the Vietnam War often avoids reckoning with the postwar history of the Hanoi regime and its human consequences, and Nguyen’s stories are a useful corrective. See the Jet Age’s lasting influence. 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. At first, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but looking closely, I saw stairs leading into the ground and realized he … Here are 10 of the most read USC Dornsife…, Explore USC’s unseen gems. One gets the impression that Nguyen wrote this book primarily to commemorate and memorialise her interviewees, and the RVNAF more broadly. Art Jacobs in Vietnam 1967-1970 video. “The World War II movies I’d watched weren’t horrific, and it was clear who was the good guy and who was the bad guy,” said Nguyen, Aerol Arnold Chair of English and associate professor of English and American studies and ethnicity. Watching it changed the 10 year old’s destiny, setting him on the path to becoming a USC Dornsife professor and a Pulitzer Prize–winning author. Three Vietnam War Veterans Share Their Stories W.D. Although their childhoods and backgrounds could not have been more different, Thomas Gustafson, associate professor of English and American studies and ethnicity, shares with Nguyen a youth so profoundly impregnated by the Vietnam War that he, too, cites the conflict as the greatest influence in shaping his scholarship. Saigon’s haunted apartments. One day, I saw my neighbor Jerry slowly climbing out from somewhere below his backyard. 085: Footloose and Lucky. Although the Kurdi image went viral, it did not have the impact of the napalm girl in mobilizing people and governments to find a solution to the refugee crisis, or to end the conflict that is causing such suffering, argues Sarah Gualtieri, associate professor of American studies and ethnicity, history and Middle East studies. Here's another: They were a bunch of scared (mostly) young kids fighting in a massive conflict for very personal reasons. Vietnamese civilians killed by US Army soldiers during pursuit of Vietcong militia, as per order of Lieut. The alumnus, who earned a degree in biological sciences in 1987, is the first Vietnamese-born general officer in the U.S. military. “Democratic thinking teaches you to see things from multiple perspectives, to trust no single point of view.”. Standing on the deck of the Hancock, Luong said, he already knew he would serve in the U.S. military to give back to the nation that had saved him and his family from almost certain death. While Luong condemns the war, he pays tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the American soldiers who fought in Vietnam. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, the young boy watched, mesmerized, taking in the drifting smoke and the rhythmic chopping sound of the United States military helicopters silhouetted against the hellish scene of destruction unfolding on the TV screen in his family’s cozy California home. This, he argues, is illustrated in presidential speeches, from President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s to President Barack Obama today. Unlike Nguyen, it had little effect on him. That is the most horrific thing about it.”, Read more stories from USC Dornsife Magazine’s Fall 2016-Spring 2017 issue >>, categories: The Vietnamese refugee success stories are plentiful, but let’s never forget about those who were not so fortunate. In 1960, counter-guerrilla forces of South Vietnamese Army light infantry Ranger companies were created. “American self-confidence still hasn’t been restored to the quality it had in the 1950s. In 1974, with … His politics were different from mine, but I knew he had a nephew who’d been killed in Vietnam. As his protagonist puts it: “This was the first war where the losers would write history instead of the victors.” For not only America’s understanding of the Vietnam War but the world’s perception of the conflict has been shaped almost exclusively by the viewpoints of Americans — by American soldiers, politicians and journalists, and by the makers of American culture — while Vietnamese perception of the most deadly combat in its history has largely been ignored. Though it was a relatively short battle, it was by far the most intense fighting I saw during my tour. Raised at the dead end of a dirt road in a small, conservative town in New Jersey, Gustafson first became aware that there was more than one perspective on the Vietnam War during his hometown’s Fourth of July parade. He fought as a Viet Cong from the late 1950s to the end of the war in the mid-'70s. “Here that wasn’t clear to me, and what was worse, people like me were the ones being killed. Escaping by boat, many found freedom in foreign land, many were captured and … Vietnam War Books: Nonfiction An Intimate History of Killing by Joanna Bourke. Vietnam Dustoff. “I was struck by Gen. William Westmoreland’s statements in the documentary that ‘Orientals’ don’t have the same respect for life as Americans. Referred to as Biêt-Dông-Quân or BDQ, a significant number of Ranger-qualified officers and NCOs served as advisors to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Ranger units throughout the duration of the war…nearly in 2,000 total. Vietnam Stories. The script is by Geoffrey Ward, and the series is narrated by Peter Coyote.This series is one of the few PBS series to carry a TV-MA rating. Podcast: Mother Nature and the Infantry Soldier. Vietnamese civilians killed by US Army soldiers during pursuit of Vietcong militia, as per order of Lieut. Vietnam war: 'In a weird way, it’s with me every day' Ngoc Minh Ngo says her father was a colonel in the South Vietnamese army, ‘caught up in a complicated war’:. Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images. Luong was 9 years old when he escaped the ravages of war-torn Vietnam with his family, just a day before Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975. For many, the horrors of the Vietnam War were — and still are — unforgettably distilled in one unbearable image: that of Phan Thi Kim Phuc, the 9-year-old Vietnamese girl running naked in the collective eternity of our imaginations down a road, wailing in agony. One gets the impression that Nguyen wrote this book primarily to commemorate and memorialise her interviewees, and the RVNAF more broadly. A Vietnamese Refugee Tells Her Story. “Looking at the last years of that conflict and talking to some of the very few remaining U.S. advisers in Vietnam, we learn that the South Vietnamese fought for the most part heroically. by Duong Thuy Nguyen. We try to get students to listen to those voices, even when it’s challenging.”. Follow Us We asked viewers how they experienced the events of the Vietnam era. Well, that's one side of the story. Gustafson, who is fascinated by the politics of memory and whose research focuses on the power of political language and discourse to shape those memories, agrees with Nguyen that those who are pushing to rewrite the Vietnam War as a war of noble failed intentions are winning. Where the Ashes Are: The Odyssey of a Vietnamese Family, Nguyen Qui Duc (2009) … “Our media is not as willing to show the ugly, tragic, atrocious side of war. Stories from Vietnam. “When that image of Kim Phuc came out it was 1972. But in some ways we don’t want to learn; we don’t want to confront it. My Worst Day in Vietnam. The Golden dragons also fought in the Iraqi war, a war of similar consequences of Vietnam. It made me feel like an outsider, and I knew that anger was going to be a catalyst for me to try to make sense out of the movie, the Vietnam War, and my place both in American society and in the history of that war.”. Yet we must not forget, Nguyen reminds us, that 6 million Jews and 20 million Russians died during World War II, and that 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered during the Rwandan genocide. “There were platitudes about caring for people in crisis, but the Kurdi image had limited resonance in American policy debates, despite the fact that it circulated so widely in the U.S.,” she said. True stories of the Vietnam War. Be the first to submit a tribute honoring a vet from the Vietnam War! These stories from the Vietnam War will break your heart. “That was going to be my subject, not just the war itself, but how the war was regarded.”. Haywood T. "The Kid" Kirkland from Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans (1984) In an article in the New York Times Magazine on March 24, 1968, reporter Sol Stern observed, "In Vietnam between 1961 and 1964, Negroes accounted for more than 20 percent of Army fatalities, even though they represented only 12.6 percent of Army … Not a single punch is … Nguyen, however, believes that the scars left by Vietnam, both in America’s psyche and on its soul, have yet to heal. A Vietnam War Story. ... 1964 in a bloody battle along with three other brave American advisors serving with the Vietnamese … The Fog of War: The Vietnamese View of the Ia Drang Battle: ... Navy flight training video during the Vietnam War. The photograph, which became emblematic of the anti-war movement, dominated the front pages of the American press. Vietnam, Past Is Prologue, probes the legacies of the Vietnam War and its aftermath through maps, videos, and paintings that highlight the voices and stories of former Vietnamese refugees. War Stories on DVD as told at the 2007 VHPA Reunion. When they landed on the USS Hancock the ship was so big, Luong remembers, that he and his siblings were disoriented. The Vietnam War was the prolonged struggle between nationalist forces attempting to unify the country of Vietnam under a communist government and the United States (with the aid of the South Vietnamese) attempting to prevent the spread of communism. The Golden dragons also fought in the Iraqi war, a war of similar consequences of Vietnam. In one single battle in Quang Tri – the border between North and South Vietnam and the most attacked city during the war – the bombs used had the destructive power of 7 nuclear bombs in Hiroshima. This is the first in a six-part series about the stories and sacrifices of local men and women during the Vietnam War. We sent a writer out to Vietnam to speak with Nguyen Hoa Giai. Luong was 9 years old when he escaped the ravages of war-torn Vietnam with his family, just a day before Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975. “Bill” Ehrhart joined the U.S. Marines when he was 17. A well-meaning American soldier from the 7th Marine Regiment tries to comfort a distraught Vietnamese child by giving her a doll, near Cape Batangan, Vietnam, 1965. For Nguyen, winning the Pulitzer was a personal victory, a validation of his long-term project to force Americans and Vietnamese to reconsider the history of the war and their involvement in it. Introduction to RE: Vietnam -- Stories Since the War. It was a war movie that was horrific, and that placed me at the center of that horror. 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. However, Nguyen warns there’s a real danger in arguing that any kind of atrocity or war is unique, or more horrific, than any other. A Vietnam War Story. October 4, 2020 — 11 Comments. Here's what he told us. The cover of Life magazine from April 7, 1967, featured Hanoi residents taking shelter underground during an air raid. “Amid all the Americana, high school students just a few years older than me were carrying a coffin in the parade to protest the Vietnam War. It’s a shame, because although there are many excellent books written by American authors about the conflict, they don’t give you an idea of how a Vietnamese person saw the war. In 1982 the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., inscribed with the names of 57,939 members of U.S. armed forces who had died or were missing as a result of the war. We try to learn some wisdom from the suffering caused by the tragedies of history. My father... Jack V Sturiano describes his ‘Forrest Gump moment’:. October 4, 2020 — 11 Comments. October 11, 2020 — 32 Comments. In 1960, counter-guerrilla forces of South Vietnamese Army light infantry Ranger companies were created. The Incredible Story Behind a Haunting Picture of a POW in Vietnam Captured U.S. pilot major Dewey Waddell is guarded by a militiawoman with a gun and a bayonet on a rice field. “These images are simply not as raw and shocking to us as they might have been to people 40 or 50 years ago,” he said. I along with about 30 other 19-yr- old males had to gather at the armory in Kalamazoo, … “Covering up” is not a new concept where Vietnam is concerned, argues Steven Ross, professor of history and director of the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life at USC Dornsife. But that’s what we do in the humanities. “Bill” Ehrhart joined the U.S. Marines when he was 17. Introduction to RE: Vietnam -- Stories Since the War. The story of Hayslip, who grew up in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, is intense, intimate, and ultimately human. (MORE: Iconic war images shown for first time in Vietnam) The rampage now known as the My Lai massacre occurred March 16, 1968. Photo by Nick Ut, courtesy of AP Photo. On Reddit, a terminally-ill Vietnam veteran recounted a story of his time in … Carter described the Vietnam War as one “of mutual destruction.” While no one denies the tragedy of the 58,000 American dead, that figure pales next to the 6 million Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians who died during the war and its aftermath. War Stories on DVD as told at the 2006 VHPA Reunion. Thirty-nine years later, he pinned on his first star as he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. Nguyen argues that the impact of such images is now reduced due to the desensitization caused by the rise in terrorism and our exposure to widespread graphic imagery in movies, video games and terrorist videos. Communist forces had already started shelling the airport when U.S. marines flew Luong, his father — an officer in the South Vietnamese marine corps — mother and seven sisters to a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Hancock . Please explore selected contributions on this page. “They made me feel absolutely torn and very committed to the cause in South Vietnam,” he said. Vietnam… The story of South Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War is largely untold. Iraq like Vietnam was a war of so many contradictions… “a war with no boundaries or indications of friend or foe. The already exploded bombs alone had caused enough suffering. Calley Jr., March 16, 1968, in My Lai, South Vietnam. “That Westmoreland, the leader of this war, is engaging in this dehumanization, this prejudice and stereotyping of ‘Orientals,’ shows that either he doesn’t understand anything about Asian culture, or that he is engaging in this dehumanization as propaganda or because it allows him to conduct the war.”, Gustafson still shows the documentary to his students at the end of his American studies class “America, the Frontier, and the New West.”. Brig. The tunnel rats encounter. Viet Thanh Nguyen as a small child in Vietnam with his mother, Linda Kim Nguyen, at a rubber plantation in Ban Me Thuot in 1973. August 23, 2020 | Featured, Reflections, Vietnamese Voices. He cites Last Days of Saigon and certain combat documentaries. The Vietnam War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam), also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America (Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. But there are many, many more ghost stories throughout Vietnam, relevant to the war fought there. This photograph of terrified children fleeing from a South Vietnamese napalm bomb attack on their village on June 8, 1972, became an iconic image of the anti-war movement. As a literature professor, I teach critical thinking, but it must be supplemented by empathy, the ability to put ourselves in the shoes, the souls, hearts and minds of someone different from ourselves. Be the first to submit a tribute honoring a vet from the Vietnam War! I would like to say a special thanks to everyone who helped me turn this documentary into a reality, from the people who graciously shared their stories, pictures, and poetry; to the friends who helped me translate. The U.S. military has estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the war. Iraq like Vietnam was a war of so many contradictions… “a war with no boundaries or indications of friend or foe. Luong was 9 years old when he escaped the ravages of war-torn Vietnam with his family, just a day before Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975. Communist forces had already started shelling the airport when U.S. marines flew Luong, his father — an officer in the South Vietnamese marine corps — mother and seven sisters to a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Hancock . If you are a veteran, know a veteran, or are related to a veteran, and would like to place a personal story on the Online Veterans Tribute, please mail it to: American Veterans Center 1100 N. Glebe Rd. Photo courtesy of Viet Thanh Nguyen. I would like to say a special thanks to everyone who helped me turn this documentary into a reality, from the people who graciously shared their stories, pictures, and poetry; to the friends who helped me translate. “Winning the Pulitzer felt like an endorsement of the importance of the memory of this war and of seeing it from another perspective,” he said. Vietnam… “The bipartisan recasting of American memory is not simply to focus on American soldiers,” Nguyen argues, “but to turn the memory of what was at best an ambivalent war for Americans into one that is now a war of noble intentions and human failure, rather than one of atrocity and racism as it was portrayed by the anti-war movement in the 1960s and 1970s.”. They were young, half a world away from home, and at war. Where the Ashes Are: The Odyssey of a Vietnamese Family, Nguyen Qui Duc (2009) … Before Vietnam, he argues, the U.S. saw itself as a world benefactor, a strong country that had never lost a war. If you are a veteran, know a veteran, or are related to a veteran, and would like to place a personal story on the Online Veterans Tribute, please mail it to: American Veterans Center 1100 N. Glebe Rd. The series complements a Maryland Public Television initiative It was 1967 and Gustafson was 13 years old. For the young Vietnamese-American boy, watching Apocalypse Now opened the door onto a very different view of a very different war, one that was to have major personal and professional repercussions. Gen. Viet Luong also takes issue with this effort to rewrite history. “Watching that film made me feel like there was no place for me in American culture,” he said. This year will go down as one of the most troubled — and inspirational — in history. When the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ played they sat down,” Gustafson recalled. The 1980s was a time to tell the stories of the Vietnam War. Referred to as Biêt-Dông-Quân or BDQ, a significant number of Ranger-qualified officers and NCOs served as advisors to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Ranger units throughout the duration of the war…nearly in 2,000 total. Art Jacobs in Vietnam 1967-1970 video. The question of perspective lies at the heart of Nguyen’s novel and is a vital one for anyone seeking to establish a more balanced, less-biased truth about the 20-year conflict. It was 1981, and unbeknownst to his parents — refugees from Vietnam who fled to the U.S. six years earlier with their then 4-year-old son when Saigon fell to the communists — Nguyen had rented Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now to while away a solitary weekend while his mom and dad worked long hours at their neighborhood grocery store in San Jose. “Censorship is much more pervasive now so the media simply doesn’t have access to U.S. military operations in the same way American and foreign media did in Vietnam,” Nguyen said. Newsweek national security correspondent Jeff Stein is the author of A Murder in Wartime: The Untold Spy Story That Changed the Course of the Vietnam War (St. Martin's Press, 1992). Vietnam Dustoff. “The aftermath of the Vietnam War meant that no longer could Americans be self-confident about either their military prowess or their good intentions,” said Nguyen, describing the conflict as “deeply divisive.”, “I think of it as a civil war in the American soul,” he said. The traditional historiography of the Vietnam War often avoids reckoning with the postwar history of the Hanoi regime and its human consequences, and Nguyen’s stories are a useful corrective. The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now — these films changed our post-war view of Vietnam, recasting it as our very own personal horror story. “You can’t take anything away from those men and women who fought over there. For me, the seed of that came from Vietnam.”. Trip to Vietnam I heard during my tour the difference between a fairy tale and a war story is that one starts with “Once upon a time” and the other with “This is no shit!” I’m not sure these were the exact words, but it hits a central truth, which will be central to you while you read my book. Vietnam War Story: How This Cellar Saved My Friend. “Images of children resonate very deeply with us. As we recognize the 50th anniversary of this tragic conflict, USC Dornsife scholars challenge this one-sided perspective, re-examining the legacy of what even the Vietnamese refer to as “The American War.”. The script is by Geoffrey Ward, and the series is narrated by Peter Coyote.This series is one of the few PBS series to carry a TV-MA rating. “What that means is that we’re personally invested in it,” he said. South Korea’s contingent was bigger than that of … A contentious election. 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