Stories of Service: Memories of Vietnam
In conjunction with the landmark series The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, Public Media Connect – ThinkTV and CET – asked the community to submit their own stories about how they were impacted by The Vietnam War. We also did a series of mini-documentaries featuring the stories of people from Southwest Ohio as part of this project. These stories are featured below.
Rick Williams & Tony Jensen
Two veterans’ paths crossed 47 years ago. Rick Williams and Tony Jensen both served in Vietnam at the same time, in the same place, but do not discover it for 42 years.
James Miller Story 1
Jim flew a Huey helicopter, an armed transport or slicks inserting troops and supplies into the battle zone and picking up the wounded and dead.
James Miller Story 2
Jim flew a Huey helicopter, an armed transport or slicks inserting troops and supplies into the battle zone and picking up the wounded and dead. He was shot down and unknowingly landed his helicopter feet from a mine field. Jim is the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross for a mission he completed under enemy fire.
Tom and Meihwa Neal
Tom and Meihwa were in South Vietnam as volunteers with various aid organizations. They provided goods and services to many of the outlying villages. Desperate for a way out of South Vietnam in April of 1975, they volunteered for Operation Babylift. They were supposed to be on the first flight out, but their exit visas were not in order. That saved their life as the first flight crashed.
Dr. Kristin Rodzinka
Dr. Kristin Rodzinka is the PTSD Programs Manager with the Dayton Veterans Association. She defines and outlines PTSD and discusses ways in which Vietnam Veterans may differ from current war veterans.
Joseph Guy LaPointe, Jr.
Joseph Guy LaPointe, Jr. was a conscientious objector and became an Army Aidman, or Medic. On June 2, 1969, his patrol encountered heavy fire and Joseph ran forward, through the fire to assist.
Abby voluntarily joined the Army, it was in her blood, her father was career Army. She graduated nursing school and was assigned to the 85th EVAC hospital in Vietnam.
Michael DeHart, Story 1
On May 14, 1969, Michael’s platoon was doing reconnaissance and encountered an enemy force. There were 20 to 30 yards separating the two.
Michael DeHart, Story 2
Michael was in an Infantry reconnaissance platoon and on April 10, 1969, they were in the field checking on a reported large bundle.
Dayton National Cemetery Honor Squad
Dayton National Cemetery was established as the permanent burial site for residents of the Central Branch of the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in 1867.