Upper School History Students Welcome Vietnam Veterans
Collegiate Upper School students in Brian Ross’ history course, The United States in the 1970s, recently shared conversations with and posed questions of seven Vietnam War veterans.
The veterans, who volunteer in partnership with the Vietnam War Memorial Museum, arrived on campus to participate in an oral history project.
Students in the course have been studying the history of the Vietnam War by examining historical accounts of the war, video clips, documentaries, memoirs and fiction. Students received their most profound insights of the time period when they listened to former soldiers who had served their country during the war.
A Collegiate student asked one veteran, “What were your emotions before leaving for the war in Vietnam?” The student then asked, “When you first arrived in Vietnam, what were your first reactions to the environment around you? Did you have a sense of brotherhood with your fellow soldiers? What was it like when you returned to the U.S? Was it an easy transition? How did it make you feel?”
The veteran’s replies varied widely, though a common understanding was apparent. Wartime experiences are deeply personal, incredibly touching and profound when shared in person with someone who experienced the conflict firsthand.