World War I Student Essay Program

My grandparents, 1915, my grandmother, a Vassar College Student, and my grandfather in his Williams College ROTC uniform. This past Veterans Day I was invited to speak at an area school. I could not because of a schedule conflict. Bemidji School Superintendent Tim Lutz and I started visiting about Veterans Day 2018, the 100th anniversary …

2017 Veterans’ Voice Award

September 11, 2017, my wife, Patti, and several family members attended the 2017 Veterans’ Voices Award ceremony at University of St. Thomas. The Minnesota Humanities Center started the program in 2013 to recognize Minnesota Veterans who quietly work with the underserved members of our state. I was deeply honored to be selected. The evening had …

Remembering Jim Northrup

In April 2015, Jim Northrup and I were featured speakers at an evening program titled, “Making Meaning of Vietnam.” I will always cherish the memory of Jim, sitting a few feet from me, nodding in agreement and encouragement as I spoke. Jim followed me. My sister videoed Jim’s presentation. As I sat watching the video …

Trump Rally and 1968 Chicago Protests

These recent protests against the Trump rally and the media’s obsession comparing it to the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests have triggered memories of my 1968 confrontation with the anti-war protestors. While serving with the Brown Water Navy in Vietnam I was wounded in an ambush and medevac’d home. On August 29, 1968, our C-141 …

WWII Veterans and PTSD

I recently read Thomas Childers Soldier From The War Returning (2009) in which he explores the lives of three Second World War veterans and their families. The book documents a part of our collective past—an inconvenient truth—that has been airbrushed from our national memory. Yet millions of Baby Boomers grew up in the shadow of …