SEYMOUR, Wis. (WFRV) – Vietnam War veterans visited a local Outagamie County high school to host their program, Reflections of Vietnam.
The 8-year-old program involves veterans who speak about their time over in Vietnam and the stories that they brought back with them. Organizers say the stories told are meant to be powerful and impactful on the students who attend the event.
“We love getting in the schools and talking with the students,” said John Koehler, the moderator for the program. “It’s a real win-win-win situation. It’s a win for the veterans who get an opportunity to get out of the house, tell their stories, put on their shirts, and show their ribbons. It’s a win for the students because we augment what they don’t get in a book from their lectures. They hear right from us. For the teacher as well. Some of them are young and haven’t heard a whole lot so everyone wins on this.”
Prior to the discussion, lockers are placed throughout the gymnasium where students can see items used in the Vietnam War, more photos, and gain more experience about the time the veterans spent. Some of the items included in these lockers are uniforms the Vietnamese wore, the guns that they used, type of equipment both sides of the war used.
“We have north Vietnamese weapons, South Vietnamese weapons, helmets, stuff on the navy, stuff on the Marine Corps. It prepares the kids for the auditorium piece where we do an hour program and tell our stories,” said Koehler.
The Reflections of Vietnam program continues to travel throughout Wisconsin showing off the impressive displays, and even more impressive stories the veterans have to tell.