Lest We Forget: Vietnam

Today we have a group of Vietnam veterans talking to students across the country about their experiences. We have several classes from MI participating, as well as classes from NY, PA and NE.

These are the panels that participated today:

9:30 Session Panel: SGT Jess Bowman, CDR Don Oderkirk, Major Weldon Burden, L/CPL Denton Kime

10:45 Session Panel: SGT Jess Bownman, CDR Don Oderkirk, COL Alsbro, L/CPL Denton Kime

12:30 Session Panel: SGT Jess Bowman, Major Weldon Burden, COL Alsbro, L/CPL Denton Kime

Here are some of the questions that students asked today:

  • Did you think the draft process was fair?
  • Describe your feelings/thoughts on foreign policy related to the domino effect?
  • What did you think of the Vietnamization process?
  • How much did you know about the war before you were drafted?
  • Do you think the media misrepresent the war?
  • Has your sacrifice been appreciated by society as much as you think it should?
  • Do you think there should be a draft today?
  • Are you able to watch movies about the war? and which ones do you recommend?
  • Do you think the comparisons between the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam are justified?
  • What should we be doing differently to support the troops when they come home from our current wars?
  • If you could pass on one thing to the next generation of Americans, what would it be?

Students from Syracuse, NY, prepared great thank you posters to share with the veterans at the end of the conference. The veterans sure appreciate these expressions!

These are great videoconferences – a benefit to the veterans, who appreciate the opportunity to tell their story as well as the expressions of thanks from the students. And hearing first hand experiences of historical events always helps students understand the topic better. These are videoconferences you could easily do in your area as well! I’m sure there are veterans nearby who would love to have the opportunity to talk to students.

0 replies on “Lest We Forget: Vietnam”

    • Yes – actually, we record all of the veteran interviews – to collect their stories. We don’t have student permission on them, so I can’t post them online as they are. But we have a project going where we’re trying to cut the videos in pieces so teachers can use the Q&A on demand as needed. Will of course let everyone know when that is up & online!


      • Awesome! Hey, if you ever need a video editor, that’s my main gig, both at LifeSize and elsewhere. Here’s my personal website: http://www.sarahedits.com

        I took a class on the Vietnam War in college and one day some veterans came in a talked to us. It was incredibly fascinating. Such an awesome idea to get kids thinking about that (and prevent history from repeating itself).

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