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
Remembering his own struggles with reintegrating after returning from the war zone, former Marine Fletcher Hinds is thinking about the dilemmas that face today’s servicemen and women. Although they see more support than Vietnam veterans received, Hinds sees some of the struggles and challenges as consistent with what his generation experienced.
Many of those who fought in Vietnam came home to a public that greeted them with indifference or downright hostility. Those veterans have watched with ambivalence as today’s servicemen and women are treated with the respect and honor that their generation never felt.
Based in St Paul, the Minnesota Humanities Center has opened its doors to veterans, including those who served in Vietnam. The nonprofit’s initiative seeks to “amplify, honor and recognize the contribution of Minnesota veterans.” Vietnam veterans gather there to brainstorm ways to share their personal experiences.
Lee Walker still carries shrapnel in his body. He sustained multiple injuries when his squad walked into an ambush in Vietnam. But the legacy of that day is more than physical; the retired Army veteran still dreams about the firefight that almost took his life
Jerry Newton in was in the midst of his Army career when he was given his most difficult and dreadful assignment: he was the officer who notified families when their soldier sons were killed in combat. What he experienced prompted him to volunteer to go to Vietnam; he figured even serving in the war zone would not be as awful as his notification work
Peter Molenda’s assignment in Vietnam was as a motion picture photographer, shooting not bullets but film for the Department of Defense’s photo team. His job was to document the positive actions of the US military in the country, but what he saw through his camera’s lens changed his attitude about the war
When Valerie Buchan was recruited by the Army, she considered it her duty to serve. As the head nurse in an emergency room in Vietnam, she cared for soldiers who endured life threatening injuries. After coming home, she became an early supporter of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, devoted to the contributions of military nurses