I wrote this is in reference to The Vietnam War series by Ken Burns. I did not watch all the episodes recently broadcast on TV, but maybe one day I will go back and take a second look at the episodes I haven’t seen?
However it seems that the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association event on 3 October 2017, in conjunction with Atlanta, Georgia’s PBS Station, PBA30 held a critique of after watching the 18 hour series.
Prior to the conclusion of the event, PBA recorded 7 Vietnam Veterans giving their assessment of the series and very briefly told their story of the Vietnam War during their time in country. Speakers (in order) are: Bob Babcock, Cary S. King, Jim Dickson, J. Craig Honaman, Tony Hilliard, John Butler and Gen. Ron Helmly.
During the introduction of these veterans the first speaker told of the importance of EVERY Vietnam Veteran to tell their story in their own words, either writing it in the form of a book, telling it to family and friends, or speaking in front of a church group or other forum where it can be preserved for the benefit of everyone who hears or reads it.
We all have a story, our story that can only be told by us. Each story is different. Each story is true according to our individual experiences.
One speaker said it best, the Vietnam War is not a 10 year war, but a 1 year war fought 10 times, by different soldiers, sailors, airman, marines, guardsmen and in the case of Thailand, Civilians of Air America and its subsidiaries.
I fully agree that it is especially important for Thailand Veterans of the Vietnam War to tell our story in our own words. Nobody can tell it for us and it is a disgrace to keep it to ourselves and take it to our graves.
Go to the link to the video of the critiques presented at Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association (AVVBA) luncheon meeting on October 3, 2017.
Go to: pba.org/veterans
Scroll down to ATLANTA VIETNAM VETERANS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, where the video can be viewed.
Click on this link: https://youtu.be/qeBC7DQoAbY
(or copy and paste into your browser).
I have a challenge for you, begin writing down your story, in your own words or set up your video camera and begin talking, as you would to a friend, telling about your experiences during the Vietnam War from the perspective of a Thailand Veteran.
I have already begun writing my story and I urge you to do the same. Share your story with others and maybe, just maybe we can get the word out about what really happened as we supported the war in Vietnam from based in Thailand. Remember our war was not confined to the 10 years of the Vietnam War, we were in Thailand before Vietnam and stayed long after the war ended, in fact many of our folks are still serving in Thailand today.
One last note, the battle hasn’t ended for those of us suffering the effects of herbicide exposure to chemicals such as Agent Orange and other chemicals used on Thai bases. Our brothers and sisters have been dying (some each day) because of this deadly friendly fire enemy, it is the Battle of Orange. – I am the Real Truckmaster!