vietnam war stories from vietnamese

Between 1975 to 1992, almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War, in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Art Jacobs in Vietnam 1967-1970 video. While Luong condemns the war, he pays tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the American soldiers who fought in Vietnam. It was only later, after he developed a political conscience at college, that fury also entered the picture. October 11, 2020 — 32 Comments. HANOI, VIETNAM—Forty years ago, on April 30, 1975, Nguyen Dang Phat experienced the happiest day of his life. We have such trouble seeing the ugly sides of America. “It’s very difficult for me to view the Vietnam War as anything other than an ugly conflict that should never have occurred,” Luong said. We sent a writer out to Vietnam to speak with Nguyen Hoa Giai. In 1960, counter-guerrilla forces of South Vietnamese Army light infantry Ranger companies were created. The following is an account of the battle at LZ Bird. The Golden dragons also fought in the Iraqi war, a war of similar consequences of Vietnam. Wm. Three Vietnam War Veterans Share Their Stories W.D. The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now — these films changed our post-war view of Vietnam, recasting it as our very own personal horror story. Nguyen, however, believes that the scars left by Vietnam, both in America’s psyche and on its soul, have yet to heal. The … “The World War II movies I’d watched weren’t horrific, and it was clear who was the good guy and who was the bad guy,” said Nguyen, Aerol Arnold Chair of English and associate professor of English and American studies and ethnicity. Gustafson, who is fascinated by the politics of memory and whose research focuses on the power of political language and discourse to shape those memories, agrees with Nguyen that those who are pushing to rewrite the Vietnam War as a war of noble failed intentions are winning. The story of Linda Thong, while horrific, is not unusual. Just as Nguyen’s world was turned upside down by watching Apocalypse Now, Gustafson experienced a cataclysmic awakening when, as a junior at Yale University in 1974, he saw the anti-war documentary Hearts and Minds, which affected him so much emotionally he couldn’t sleep at night. Read stories from diverse points-of-view about how the Vietnam War era has affected our sense of self and our place in the world. Be the first to submit a tribute honoring a vet from the Vietnam War! Yet, in movies and the media, they weren’t positively portrayed.” Luong feels the suggestion that somehow they didn’t do their part or were a bunch of cowards who didn’t defend their homeland, is very painful to his father’s generation. Art Jacobs in Vietnam 1967-1970 video. South Korea’s contingent was bigger than that of … True stories of the Vietnam War. It didn’t want to risk being accused of a lack of patriotism, so it avoided putting out films critical of the war until it was over,” Ross said. In one single battle in Quang Tri – the border between North and South Vietnam and the most attacked city during the war – the bombs used had the destructive power of 7 nuclear bombs in Hiroshima. Refugees often encountered pirates while sailing the dangerous South China Sea. Please explore selected contributions on this page. The image of the napalm girl fleeing in terror, the way she is robbed of her innocence in that moment, captured the deplorable longstanding involvement of the U.S. military in the region.”. The Chinese dubbed the American unit, “Golden Dragons,” because of their fierce fighting spirit. If we maintain that the photograph of Kim Phuc resonated so deeply on so many levels that it had an impact on policy and indeed hastened the end of the war, what can we say about a more recent shocking photograph of another child tragically caught up in the consequences of war — that of Alan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian refugee boy washed up on a Turkish beach in September 2015? In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, thousands of so-called "boat people" fled Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, often in small overcrowded ships that were barely seaworthy. by Duong Thuy Nguyen. Vietnam Stories. The script is by Geoffrey Ward, and the series is narrated by Peter Coyote.This series is one of the few PBS series to carry a TV-MA rating. She is naked because she tore off her burning clothes after a South Vietnamese napalm bomb attack on her village on June 8, 1972. Before The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, many readers didn’t know any authors or books written from the Vietnamese perspective. Iraq like Vietnam was a war of so many contradictions… “a war with no boundaries or indications of friend or foe. My grandmother was a war photographer in Quang Tri. One day, I saw my neighbor Jerry slowly climbing out from somewhere below his backyard. “My sisters and I were scared to death. Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam by Nick Turse. The story of Hayslip, who grew up in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, is intense, intimate, and ultimately human. When they landed on the USS Hancock the ship was so big, Luong remembers, that he and his siblings were disoriented. “We asked our father ‘Dad, where are we?’ He said ‘We’re on a U.S. carrier.’ We said ‘What does that mean?’ And he replied, ‘It means nothing in the world can harm you now.’”. Newsweek national security correspondent Jeff Stein is the author of A Murder in Wartime: The Untold Spy Story That Changed the Course of the Vietnam War (St. Martin's Press, 1992). 4 Creepy Ghost Stories From the Vietnam War Saigon's haunted apartments. Ehrhart, left, in October 1967 near Quang Tri, Vietnam, and today. We try to get students to listen to those voices, even when it’s challenging.”. I felt sympathetic to the high school protestors, but I could also see the war from the point of view of this wonderful man who had lost his nephew.”. Former Vietnamese Soldier Shares His War Stories for Friendship. I was confused because I wasn’t sure whether I should be rooting for the Americans who were doing the killing, who were committing all the horrors, or whether I should be identifying with the Vietnamese who had the horror being inflicted upon them and their voices taken away.”. The tunnel rats encounter. War Stories on DVD as told at the 2006 VHPA Reunion. Luong was 9 years old when he escaped the ravages of war-torn Vietnam with his family, just a day before Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975. Vietnam War Story: How This Cellar Saved My Friend. This year will go down as one of the most troubled — and inspirational — in history. “What we learned from Vietnam is not to show pictures of war,” Gustafson said. Around 300,000 troops joined American forces in 1964. “Democratic thinking teaches you to see things from multiple perspectives, to trust no single point of view.”. But the Kurdi photograph, although equally heartbreaking, is more complicated. Wm. Watching it changed the 10 year old’s destiny, setting him on the path to becoming a USC Dornsife professor and a Pulitzer Prize–winning author. “The fact that 6 million people died during a war was actually not unique during the 20th century. Gen. Viet Luong also takes issue with this effort to rewrite history. October 18, 2020 — 24 Comments. The first episode premiered on PBS on September 17, 2017. “We’re such a militaristic country, but we shy away from that, preferring instead to see ourselves as a republic, not as an empire,” he said. ... 1964 in a bloody battle along with three other brave American advisors serving with the Vietnamese … Vietnam… The cover of Life magazine from April 7, 1967, featured Hanoi residents taking shelter underground during an air raid. The question of perspective lies at the heart of Nguyen’s novel and is a vital one for anyone seeking to establish a more balanced, less-biased truth about the 20-year conflict. I would like to say a special thanks to everyone who helped me turn this documentary into a reality, from the people who graciously shared their stories, pictures, and poetry; to the friends who helped me translate. For the young Vietnamese-American boy, watching Apocalypse Now opened the door onto a very different view of a very different war, one that was to have major personal and professional repercussions. Saigon’s haunted apartments. A well-meaning American soldier from the 7th Marine Regiment tries to comfort a distraught Vietnamese child by giving her a doll, near Cape Batangan, Vietnam, 1965. Standing on the deck of the Hancock, Luong said, he already knew he would serve in the U.S. military to give back to the nation that had saved him and his family from almost certain death. Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images. When such memos were revealed, the result, Ross said, was that Vietnam killed Americans’ confidence in the ability of American military power to fight the right wars. The Incredible Story Behind a Haunting Picture of a POW in Vietnam Captured U.S. pilot major Dewey Waddell is guarded by a militiawoman with a gun and a bayonet on a rice field. “That hurts even more than the sense of abandonment,” he said. “Bill” Ehrhart joined the U.S. Marines when he was 17. Of … “I was completely shaped by responding to Vietnam and it still affects how I teach today,” he said. Learn how 2020 was a good year for Muslim’s on TV and what one of USC’s newest centers hopes to learn…, USC Dornsife scholars frequently share their expertise on major topics of the day. Read stories from diverse points-of-view about how the Vietnam War era has affected our sense of self and our place in the world. Luong was 9 years old when he escaped the ravages of war-torn Vietnam with his family, just a day before Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975. “Watching that film made me feel like there was no place for me in American culture,” he said. A Vietnamese Refugee Tells Her Story. Vietnam War Story: How This Cellar Saved My Friend. We try to learn some wisdom from the suffering caused by the tragedies of history. “What is really horrific about the Vietnam War is that it wasn’t unique,” Nguyen said. “When I saw parents visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., I imagined what it would be like to lose a child, and I broke down and cried. The U.S. military has estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the war. (MORE: Iconic war images shown for first time in Vietnam) The rampage now known as the My Lai massacre … “Images of children resonate very deeply with us. Iraq like Vietnam was a war of so many contradictions… “a war with no boundaries or indications of friend or foe. A Vietnam War Story. Referred to as Biêt-Dông-Quân or BDQ, a significant number of Ranger-qualified officers and NCOs served as advisors to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Ranger units throughout the duration of the war…nearly in 2,000 total. While Nguyen says the U.S. is not unique in the way it remembers and forgets its wars and those involved in them, it has nevertheless focused on the Vietnam War almost exclusively as an American war in terms of its cost — to American lives and unity, and with respect to damage to the American psyche. For Nguyen, winning the Pulitzer was a personal victory, a validation of his long-term project to force Americans and Vietnamese to reconsider the history of the war and their involvement in it. Photo by Nick Ut, courtesy of AP Photo. However, like Gustafson, he says he has been deeply moved by some of the documentaries made about Vietnam. “Our media is not as willing to show the ugly, tragic, atrocious side of war. However, Nguyen warns there’s a real danger in arguing that any kind of atrocity or war is unique, or more horrific, than any other. Unlike Nguyen, it had little effect on him. Calley Jr., March 16, 1968, in My Lai, South Vietnam. The Vietnamese government keeps a tight grip on its version of history, the winners’ side of the story. As we recognize the 50th anniversary of this tragic conflict, USC Dornsife scholars challenge this one-sided perspective, re-examining the legacy of what even the Vietnamese refer to as “The American War.”. alumni, american studies and ethnicity, english, history, steven ross, thomas gustafson, usc dornsife magazine, viet thanh nguyen, vietnam, vietnam war, The coronavirus pandemic. America has always regarded the Vietnam War as its own personal horror story. The U.S. military has estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the war. “This means the possibility of capturing and seeing horrific images like the napalm girl, which played a role in bringing American involvement in the Vietnam War to an end, is now reduced for the U.S. population.”. He cites Last Days of Saigon and certain combat documentaries. Although their childhoods and backgrounds could not have been more different, Thomas Gustafson, associate professor of English and American studies and ethnicity, shares with Nguyen a youth so profoundly impregnated by the Vietnam War that he, too, cites the conflict as the greatest influence in shaping his scholarship. Podcast: Mother Nature and the Infantry Soldier. The traditional historiography of the Vietnam War often avoids reckoning with the postwar history of the Hanoi regime and its human consequences, and Nguyen’s stories are a useful corrective. One I particularly remember showed a woman weeping over the remains of her husband that were in a small garbage bag.”. Ross stresses that the film studios largely remained silent on Vietnam until after the war was over. A Vietnam War Story. The first episode premiered on PBS on September 17, 2017. While President Lyndon Johnson’s government maintained the official line, telling Americans that Vietnam was about saving democracy — that if Vietnam fell to communism, everything else would fall — it knew this to be untrue, Ross said. “Although a huge amount of work had already been done about the Vietnam War, I felt that no one had yet tried to write a novel that dealt with all sides, and with the problem of looking at a war from all sides,” Nguyen said. As an American soldier and a former Vietnamese refugee, seeing images of the war triggered conflicting emotions. There’s easy listening and uneasy listening, and we have the hardest time doing the uneasy listening to the voices that don’t flatter us, that don’t self-justify us. “The bipartisan recasting of American memory is not simply to focus on American soldiers,” Nguyen argues, “but to turn the memory of what was at best an ambivalent war for Americans into one that is now a war of noble intentions and human failure, rather than one of atrocity and racism as it was portrayed by the anti-war movement in the 1960s and 1970s.”. Even when such images do emerge, their impact is diminished, Nguyen said. Communist forces had already started shelling the airport when U.S. marines flew Luong, his father — an officer in the South Vietnamese marine corps — mother and seven sisters to a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Hancock . As a literature professor, I teach critical thinking, but it must be supplemented by empathy, the ability to put ourselves in the shoes, the souls, hearts and minds of someone different from ourselves. ... like many other relics from the Vietnam War era. The story of South Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War is largely untold. We sent a writer out to Vietnam to speak with Nguyen Hoa Giai. “To me it was just another movie, it didn’t have an impact on me either way,” he said. Here's what he told us. Thirty-nine years later, he pinned on his first star as he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, the young boy watched, mesmerized, taking in the drifting smoke and the rhythmic chopping sound of the United States military helicopters silhouetted against the hellish scene of destruction unfolding on the TV screen in his family’s cozy California home. April 30, 1975, Nguyen Dang Phat experienced the events of the horror, not. 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