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18 Unique Stations from Border to Border
Veterans' Voices a radio series exploring the knowledge, experience and leadership of Minnesota service members | Supported by the Minnesota Humanities Center
Roger Sayles

Lao Soldiers: The Fight Continues

Lao Soldiers: The Fight Continues

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Minnesota is home to a large number of Lao and Hmong warriors. In their homeland, they were recruited and trained by the CIA as part of its secret war and resettled in Minnesota after the war. Despite being credited with aiding the US, they are still pushing for recognition and veterans benefits

The Unknown Enemy

The Unknown Enemy

Dennis Mitchell remembers being given a machete when he served in Vietnam—not as a weapon, but to clear the jungle. Eluding the enemy in the dense country was dangerous, and so was trying to distinguish the enemy among civilians who might be armed

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Their Fathers’ Legacy

Their Fathers’ Legacy

Many who fought in Vietnam were the offspring of the soldiers who fought in previous wars and enjoyed the wholehearted backing of the American public. Three Vietnam vets contrast their experiences with that of their fathers.

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The Jungle

The Jungle

Minnesota soldiers who arrived in Vietnam had to adjust to the blistering heat as they carried out their duties in the tropical climate. Living and fighting in the humid jungle presented another challenge to soldiers on the ground

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The Military Historian

The Military Historian

After his service in Vietnam ended, Army veteran Doug Bekke became the longtime curator of the Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley. In that position, he interviewed scores of soldiers from every war and that has given him perspective on the meaning of military service

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At the Capitol

At the Capitol

Every year, Minnesota veterans who fought in every conflict gather at the State Capitol to lobby state lawmakers and listen to their agenda for legislation that will impact services for the men and women who served. They found a sympathetic ear in State Senator Jerry Relph, a former Marine first lieutenant who served in Vietnam

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The Warrior

The Warrior

For Trudell Guerue, a Lakota who grew up on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, military service is part of a rich cultural tradition. Native people had the highest per capita record of service in Vietnam of any ethnic group. Guerue explains how his community supported him when he returned to the reservation after being wounded in Vietnam

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Family Stress

Family Stress

Many veterans who returned home to their wives after serving in Vietnam had problems reconnecting. Three veterans who experienced marital struggles contemplate how their military service contributed to their painful breakups

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Managing casualties

Managing casualties

A career military officer, Jerry Newton’s assignment in Vietnam was to collect the data about the number of American casualties. His reports ultimately wound up on the Oval Office desk of President Johnson. But Newton found that politics often entered into how his data was portrayed

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No Names

No Names

As an Army nurse in Vietnam, Valerie Buchan worked 12-hour shifts caring for a steady stream of young GI’s injured in combat. She explains how her heartbreak over one young soldier who couldn’t be saved changed the way she cared for the wounded

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The Boy Officer

The Boy Officer

By testing into Officers Candidate School when he enlisted to go to Vietnam, Doug Bekke achieved a lieutenants rank. That put the Army veteran, still a teenager himself, in a position of responsibility over soldiers who were no older than he was

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