Vietnam Veteran’s New Book

Gary McKay was the first Australian solder to write an autobiography on his time serving in the Vietnam War, eventually turning his career to preserving military history. This Australia Day he is being honoured for his contribution to the nation’s veterans and our history by receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia. Read full article here.

Vietnam Veterans Project (USA)

“Paul Dostal is among 10 veterans from Hatfield who served in-country, along with one resident who was a nurse at Travis Air Force Base in California in the mid-1960s, whose stories are part of a Hatfield Historical Society online exhibit completed in time for Memorial Day. “I thought it would be a good way to preserve my history for my children and grandchildren and for future generations so they could learn from past mistakes,” Dostal said of his participation. “Hopefully, they will not make the same mistakes.” Full story here and website here.

Vietnam War

“Mark Dapin’s latest book, Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History, is not directly inspired by Lembcke’s work but follows a similar path. As a journalist, Dapin dutifully reported the stories Australian veterans told him of spit, verbal abuse and red paint. Yet as the improbability of some of these stories increased, so too did his scepticism, prompting him to undertake a doctorate at UNSW Canberra. ” Read full review here.

Reflection on war

77-year-old Werribee author and historian Margaret Campbell softly recites one of her poems included in her recently completed masters thesis, and reflects on how war has always been etched in her consciousness. As a child of the World War II years, Ms Campbell lived through the Korea and Vietnam wars and worked at the Point Cook RAAF base. She has lived in Wyndham since doing her "rookies" in 1954. Titled Searching the Silences of War, her study is part theory and part young adult novel. Finding Sophie, set in Truganina in 1997, is told from the perspective of a teenage girl staying at her grandparents' farm with relatives including a Vietnam veteran and an anti-war protester.  For full story click here.

Vietnamese Americans’ oral histories

In a classroom at UC Irvine, Thuy Vo Dang teaches a course called "Vietnamese American Experience" that introduces young Vietnamese to oral history practice. For years, she has collected the personal stories of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants like her own parents, even as  she had a hard time speaking candidly with her own father.  “When it comes to private life and home space, that’s where we see the silences, and the ghostly haunting of the Vietnam War,” she explains. “If you think about refugee trauma and refugee experience—people have left everything behind and gone through really terrifying experiences in order to build a new life, a better life. And what that actually means is that the new home space that they create is really incompatible for these sorts of stories to emerge.”  For full story click here.