War Stories!
Student/Researcher Inquiries
by: Don Poss, WS LM-01

It is said that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. If you want to learn more about the conflict in Vietnam, start with online research. You don't need an online degree, but that shouldn't discourage you from investigating all the angles. Distance Learning may be the future of education.  Keep these stories alive by teaching them to the next generation.

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Thank you for inquiring about the Vietnam War, and its impact upon U.S. veterans and the United States of America. Americans call the war, The Vietnam War, and conversely, Vietnam now calls it The American War. Whatever a war is named, the truism that war is hell rings clear in this war that saw casualties of horrendous proportions:*

Combatants Killed in Action: 1,382,430
Combatants Wounded in Action: 1,772,465
Combatants MIA/POW: 2,503 (Allied Forces)
Civilians Killed, Vietnamese: 2,000,000
Civilians Killed, Allied: 1,000 (est.)

* Body Count!: Battle Casualties for Allied, Communist, and civilians killed and wounded.
* Casualties - US vs. NVA/VC.

On this student/researchers' page you will find, References, Books, Oral History, suggested lesson-plan for the Vietvet War era, and Vietnam Veterans' responses to student/researchers surveys about the United States of America's longest war. Before continuing, Bookmark this page! You will be tempted many times to link-away to references, and you want to be able to find your way back.
      Student/Researcher inquiries are numerous and generally the same in content, or subject matter, ranging from research, reports, or personal interest. Therefore, I have attempted to compile a list of references (certainly not all encompassing) that will provide some answers and help you discover the Who, What, Why, Where, and How as told by Vietnam Veterans.
      Several Vietnam War and Veterans homepages are listed on my Personal hot-list pages. Before checking them out, I urge you to read the Comments and Messages left at my War Stories Bulletin Board pages. Many varied opinions and statements are written by veterans concerning the war and related issues.

Students/Researchers: After compiling your information into an "A" paper, consider submitting your articulate and referenced work to this site for attachment to this page. You will be credited, and others may quote you in their papers.
Vietvets/Veterans: Please Email your suggested references, links, and responses to questions listed on the survey below, for inclusion on this page.

Information, references, and books:

  • Bows, Ray. VIETNAM MILITARY LORE: Legends, Shadows, and Heroes. (Bows & Sons Publishing, Hanover, Massachusetts) 1997. Ray Bows' brings to life memories of Vietnam and fills in the dark shadows with answers galore. An easy style of writing, Ray Bows explains difficult political issues, their foundations in past events and impacts set in motion during the war years. Retired Master Sergeant Bows has written the must-read for all who served in Vietnam, as well as for those at home who want to know what their sons and daughters experienced in Vietnam. A proud addition to my personal library, and as it will be for yours.

  • The Vietnam War Museum Numismatic Collection; Photo Archives; Operation Homecoming; Philatelic Collection Stamps; Honor and Remember; Congressional Recognition.

  • How the Vietnam War Differed From Other Wars

  • Statistics about the Vietnam War Excellent interviews, statistics, battle casualties: "One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,169 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.59 million who served."

  • Chronology--U.S.-Vietnam Relations: A Chronology

  • Vietnam War Myths Dispels the most virulent myths to come out of the Vietnam War! A must read!

  • Vietnam's Knowledge Base, Created and Designed By Tan Le, Brief History of Vietnam.

  • Vietnam War, Marcus Wendel's History and more! Check it out!

  • History 367: Vietnam War History 367 explores the Vietnam War, its role in diplomatic history, and its impact on American society.

  • Kent/Ohio State University - Four dead! Vietnam Veteran's eye witness account.

  • Vietnam War (1961-1975)

  • Vietnam War History page Excellent references and links.

  • Vietnam: Yesterday and Today: The War; Studying and Teaching; Many Links.

  • Nolan, Keith. The Battle For Saigon: Tet 1968. (Pocketbook). The dramatic battle for the Saigon Circle--which includes the capital itself, the U.S. command centers at Tan Son Nhut and Long Binh, and the vital air bases at Biên Hòa and Tan Son Nhut.

  • Military Assistance Command, Vietnam / Studies and Observation Group (MACV/SOG): Numerous links and References listed!

  • IN HELL WITH DRAGONS, a Vietnam War Biography by Rick Shaffer. True story and daily chronicle of an Infantryman's perspective with the "Golden Dragons" of the 25th Infantry Division.

  • Ending the Vietnam War: President Clinton yesterday committed America to normalizing relations with Vietnam, the final step in what has been a very long journey toward peace. Opposition runs strongest among veterans groups dissatisfied with Hanoi's accounting of POWs and MIAs.

  • Notes On Oral History In The Classroom, Marjorie L. McLellan, Miami University

  • Letters written to and from Vietnam Veterans and their families and friends.

  • Letters Home from Vietnam: "Each Day Seems to Slip Away into the Dusk", By Cpl. Michael Alan McAninch, USMC, 1st Marine Division, KIA 1969, Age 22.

  • Homepage dedicated to General Hieu of the Armed Forces of Vietnam.

  • TTU Vietnam Center Home Page Outstanding research information!

  • Vietnam War Bibliography: Table of Contents for War References, Incidents, Massacres with Superb Research!

  • Hepatitis Central - Veterans' page: Outstanding Veterans' Reference, Research, & How-To page!

  • Death of the Innocent, By Michael W. Rodriguez

  • Terry, Wallace Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans.

  • Wilson, James R. Landing Zones: Combat Vets From America's Proud, Fighting South Remember Vietnam. (Featured vets in this oral history, John Candler, Platoon Leader, A/3-21st Inf, 196th LIB; and Mary Laraine Young Hines, a Red Cross Donut Dolly with the Americal Division)

  • Goff, Stanley, and Robert Sanders, with Clark Smith, Brothers: Black Soldiers in the Nam. One of the two ex-GIs featured in this oral history, Goff, won a DSC while a machine gunner in 1968)

  • Grant, Zalin, Survivors: American POWs in Vietnam. Oral history of six GIs captured in January and March 1968.

  • General Giap is the author of a 62 pages "book" titled, "How We Won the War." Review Summary: Giap (Nguyen Giap Vo). "How We Won the War" (Philadelphia, PA: Recon Publications, 1976). You may read the summary at: How We Won the War.
          Another book by General Giap is: "People's War, People's Army." A Review Summary: Giap (Nguyen Giap Vo): The Viet Cong Insurrection Manual for Underdeveloped Countries" (New York, NY: Praeger, 1962). You may read the summary at: People's War, People's Army.

  • Women In Vietnam, Research & Links

  • Read the stories of American/Australian Civilian/Military Women Who Died in the Vietnam War (1959-75)

  • In Hell With Dragons, a Vietnam War Biography by Rick Shaffer. True story and daily chronicle of an Infantryman's perspective with the "Golden Dragons" of the 25th Infantry Division.

  • Search The Vietnam Memorial: A Super Search engine for Names on The Wall!

  • Vietnam Veterans Web Memorial: Meaningful interactive visit.

  • The Moving Wall's Itinerary.

Poetry: War-Stories! publishes original Vietnam War Stories, and poetry. Poetry posted here is the copyright property of the poet, and include:

. Vietnam War Poetry: A collection of poems by American poets.

. I Remember ... the sound of rain ..., by Vietvet War Poet, Patrick Camunes.
. Remembrance, by Patrick Cosper, Navy Hospital Corpsman
. Welcome Home!, by Frank Pilson
. I'll see you later Brother, by Dennis L. Hodo
. 1st LT James R. Gilmore, Jr., by: Gwen Ready
. Sky Pilot, Air War Poetry collection:
. High Flight, by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (perhaps the most quoted war poem in history);
. Untitled/[Song of the Valkyries], by Anonymous;
. Because I Fly, by Brian Shul;
. Dakota, by Peter Moore
Sound of the Bamboo Flute, by Anonymous KIA Viet Cong soldier;
. A poetic letter home: I was not There, by Win Norwood
. The Power of Words, a soldier's story and poetry
. Dusty's Poetry Page ~Women In Country

A Collection of War Poems by English KIA Wildred Owen:
Wildred Owen "...my subject is War, and the pity of War...the Poetry is in the pity." [KIA last week of WWI]

Although most poets featured above are not famous now, their poetry is sure to touch the hearts of veterans and civilians alike. I hope this helps.

Media Paper, by Kristian Kahrs, a Journalist's Report, written for the History Seminar at Northwestern College, St. Paul MN (Spring quarter 1997, Professor, Dr. Charles Aling).
      Don, thank you for the link to my essay about the early part of the Vietnam War, 1962-1963. I write about the journalists who reported that the war against the Viet Cong was being lost. The Saigon and Washington establishment were not very pleased with this and they wanted to maintain the lies, deceit and hypocrisy. Even if the reporters clashed with the generals, they were the soldiers' best friends. Includes notes and bibliography.
      Sincerely, Kristian

Kristian Kahrs, Brynjeveien 12, 7060 Klaebu, Norway Journalist. Sports stringer for The Associated Press E-mail: kkahrs@geocities.com, Phone: +47 906 45 148 URL: https://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Track/1007

Kristian: I find value in your paper as an example of the media mindset during the war. One thing you should understand: Correspondents were not, and are not, loved by those who served in Vietnam. By linking to your article you may--probably will--receive some harsh email challenging your facts and accusing you of ignoring other relevant facts. Such as in your conclusions, whereas you write, "Thus the young and idealistic correspondents in Saigon were able to make a difference on American foreign policy." Many will not dispute that statement. Others will point out most arm-chair correspondents NEVER left Saigon's comforts, and their worst offense was to deceive and lie to the American people. Some will agree that correspondents made a difference via deceptions and lies, such as telling the people that Tet 1968 was a terrible defeat. The truth, as we all know today, is that Tet was the final defeat of Viet Cong in South Vietnam.
      I do not object to controversial stories and articles. I just want you to understand that you will be taken to task for "selected facts" not agreeing with individual perceptions of the war.
      Don Poss 

Survey Questions that students commonly ask of War Stories:

(Vietnam Veterans: If you care to respond to this survey, please copy and drop them into the email by Clicking Here.)

Name and Rank
1. What branch of the service were you in?
2. How were you recruited?
3. What was basic training like for you?
4. What did you go to tech school (if any) for?
5. What was your job in the war? e.g.. medic, pilot, etc.
6. What was your MOS? (If more than one name all)
7. What was your first permanent duty station?
8. How old were you when you enlisted, or were drafted?
9. How old are you now?
10. When did you join the war in Vietnam?
11. How did you come to be in the War? egg. volunteer
12. What were your first impressions of Vietnam?
13. What, if anything, do you feel that you gained from your time in Vietnam?
14. Was the war different from what you had expected before you arrived? In what ways?
15. What country were you fighting for? egg USA, Australia etc.
16. How long did you serve?
17. What was you rank in the army?
18. Did you receive any medals, if so what and what for?
19. During the war were you well informed on what was happening in the outside world?
20. What did you do when you weren't fighting?
21. What was you life like after the war?
22. How did you feel about the out come of the war?
23. If you had to do it again, knowing what you do now, would you?
24. Name all the countries you were stationed in during the Vietnam War era.
25. How long were you in each of those countries?
26. What base were you stationed at in each of those countries?
27. Were you married when you went into the service?
28. If yes how long?
29. If you went incountry what was it like for you?
30. What was your unit name and #?(ex. Ghost Riders, 189 assault Helicopter.)
31. Did you experience any anti-war propaganda?
32. How old were you when the war began/ended?

Vietnam Veterans Featured Responses to Students Survey and class Questions:

Paper/Project Question :

Other Vietnam War Reference Pages:

Vietnam: A Soldier's Perspective (A research tool for students), by Gerard Bufalini, � August 15, 1996.

Lesson Plan (of sorts) for Class study:

I am a high school Literary Arts/Creative Writing teacher and am looking for poems that were written by Vietnam Vets about their experiences during and after the war for an extensive unit I am planning on the war, the music, film, literature, art, etc. for my creative writers. I would sure appreciate any help you could give me. I was in college during the war, and lost several good friends over there, but really don't know how to relate this sad period in our history to my students. Could you give me some suggestions, poetry links, or whatever you can about this? My sincere thanks to you.

Thanks for asking. I'm sure we both remember well the tragedy and turmoil our country endured from 1963-1975. In many ways it is gratifying that students and professors are now asking those who served in Vietnam their sides and versions of what happened.

For poetry, I am amazed that war poets sing the same woe over pity and human folly--through all wars, often decades apart. I recommend the WWI poetry of Wilfred Owen, killed in action, France, 1918, during the last days of that war at: poems.htm . I am always moved by his stirring words, whereas Wilfred Owen once said: "Above all I am not concerned with Poetry--my subject is War, and the pity of War ... the Poetry is in the pity."

For comparison of WWI trenches to the jungles and tropical rainforests of Vietnam, read what the common soldier and airmen have composed in heartfelt words, along with families and those left behind...beginning with a poem of love and remembrance in tribute to James R. Gilmore, Jr. 1LT, by GReady, at: t-gilmorejames.htm .

Next, a listing of clickable favorites at Sky Pilot skypilot.htm . Then checkout the list of poems listed on this student/researcher page, and click a few. Your students will enjoy the presentations which are colorful, accompanied by music, and insightful.

After the poetry, have your students read at least three of the short stories. All have music and photos of the events. War Stories is a G-rated Family page, so there will be zero blood and guts or profanity -- the English language is still quiet capable of conveying pain and tragedy while painting the proverbial word picture.

I suggest first reading (and perhaps discussion?): TET 1968, a battle for Saigon's Tan Son Nhut Air Base, at: tsn-coe-tet-1968.htm (go ahead and be tempted with the inside story reference to "Heaven's Door").

Second, the story of a 19 year old's memorial by airmen in Vietnam (it will tug at your heart for sure), at: t-jbj.htm .

Third, my own High School's Welcome Home for me at Welcome Home 1967.htm .

I really must add one more, Autumn's Wall ---the circle is not complete without it, really---my visit, years later, to the Washington D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial, commonly called "The Wall" by Vietvets.

If your students cannot grasp the human tragedy of wars after reading these few (and hopefully other stories), then we are indeed doomed to repeat mankind's greatest injustice to itself.

I hope this helps with your lesson plan or outline.

Don Poss

References and Copyright: All information on the above homepages are the property of that page's webmaster. Remember to give proper credit and references for material used. If you want to include icons and photos from a page, ask permission--it will probably be granted.

How to Reference a Webpage:

1) Name of Page Author (if known)
2) Name of Web Page (if the page has a name)
3) URL address: This should be the homepage (1st page) menu address. If you reference a subpage (such as a story), list the name of the subpage (if given) and its URL address.

Example for Homepage Reference:
Don Poss, War Stories, https://www.war-stories.com (1995)
Example for subpage story Reference:
Don Poss, War Stories, "The sound of the bamboo flute",
https://www.war-stories.com/poems/poem-bamboo-flute-vc-propaganda-dn-don-poss-1965.pdf (1995)

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