Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates
Robert Funseth’s career included 40 years of diplomatic service at American embassies, consulates and on diplomatic missions in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Western Hemisphere and the United Nations. He was the spokesman for the State Department in the 1970s and during his last ten years there, Funseth managed the worldwide U.S. refugee program.
He received numerous awards for his for humanitarian achievements, particularly pioneer work on behalf of refugee women and children, improving refugee mental health, and negotiating the release of tens of thousands of political prisoners.
The following lines are from A Song of Appreciation (Bài Ca Cảm Ơn by Huỳnh Công Anh) dedicated by the Vietnamese Political Prisoners and Their Families to Robert Funseth when he was Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (from the Virtual Vietnam Archive, Item No. 1849150078000):
Some men have such humane hearts
Their love shines radiant like a halo
Their light pierces through the dark prison cells
Which mankind is all too disposed to forget.
Conference Call for Papers and Panels
“A Medical History of the Vietnam War”
The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Army Medical Department Center of History and Heritage
March 10-12, 2016
Doubletree Hotel, San Antonio, Texas
Presentations on all facets of medicine and healthcare related to the Vietnam War are welcome to include historical understandings of military medicine as practiced by all participants and in all geographic regions, the repercussions of the war on the practice of medicine, medicine in various campaigns, medical care outside of Vietnam, effects on the home front, postwar medical issues, mental health issues, and related topics.
Conference organizers welcome both individual presentation proposals as well as pre-organized panel proposals that include two to three presentations. Conference sessions will follow the standard 90 minute format to include one hour for presentations and 30 minutes for questions and discussion. Presentations by veterans are especially encouraged as are presentations by graduate students. All of the conference organizers are partners with the Department of Defense’s Vietnam War Commemoration. In keeping with that partnership, there will be a dignified event to thank veterans for their service.
Proposal submission deadline is October 31, 2015. Please send a 250 word abstract and separate two-page CV/resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. If submitting a panel proposal, please include separate abstracts for each proposed presentation and CVs/resumes for each speaker.
Thank you for your interest in participating in this conference.
Location: Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium, Museum of Texas Tech University
Jan K. Herman was the chief medical historian of the Navy from 1979 to 2012, the curator of the Old Naval Observatory, and editor-in-chief of Navy Medicine for 30 years. Since 2000, he has written and produced documentaries for the US Navy highlighting its medical service. In the documentary and its companion book, The Lucky Few, Herman tells the “relatively unknown heroic tale” of one small US Navy destroyer escort’s participation in the closing days of the Vietnam War. Herman has authored more than 50 articles and monographs plus five other books.
Captain Paul Jacobs (USN, retired) will also be in attendance. Jacobs served as commanding officer of the USS Kirk in April-May 1975 during Operation Frequent Wind (the evacuation of Saigon), during which the USS Kirk escorted the ships of the South Vietnamese Navy and 30,000 refugees to safety.
This lecture is sponsored by a generous grant from the Helen Jones Foundation and co-sponsored by the Museum of Texas Tech University.
In February 2014, Lauren, a junior from Cypress, Texas, joined the Vietnam Center and Archive in scanning the FVPPA/VAHF Collection’s ODP Application Files. Her friend Alexia, an ODP Scanning Student since October 2013, got her interested in working at the archive. Lauren finds working with the ODP files interesting. She especially enjoys learning the personal points of view from hand written letters, photographs, and other documents within the files. The personal point of view is a perspective she feels you don’t get from reading about the Vietnamese Diaspora in school.
Lauren came to TTU because her mom and uncle attended, and there is a lot of school spirit and pride at TTU. She is majoring in Nutrition Pre-Dental. She enjoys reading, watching scary movies, running, being at the beach, and outdoor activities.
The Vietnam Center and Archive staff will be heading to Austin, Texas this weekend for the dedication of the Capitol monument honoring Texas Vietnam veterans.
The monument, produced at the Deep in the Heart Art Foundry in Bastrop, was designed by Duke Sundt. Finishing touches were added by Client Howard and Jake Jokovich.
Attendees of this memorable dedication include veterans, family members of veterans, active-duty military, local school children, and elected officials. Additionally, Governor Rick Perry will be accepting the monument on behalf of the state. Guest speakers include an Air Force aviator and Vietnam prisoner of war, U.S. Representative Sam Johnson; director of the U.S. 50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War, Lieutenant General Mick Kicklighter; Texas Senator, Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, and Texas Representative Wayne Smith.
In 2005, the 79th Legislature approved The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument to honor the Texans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and to honor and never forget those who died serving our country.
The “Welcome Home Fair” will include an artifact exhibition of Vietnam War equipment and personalized dog tags honoring Texans that were lost at war. The monument is located near 14th and Brazos Street.
The new America’s Heroes Channel debuted on March 3rd, 2014. The channel will highlight all war efforts of the true American heroes.
On Monday, March 10th, 2014, the channel will be airing a new series entitled, “Against the Odds.”
The series will included a special episode, “The Marines at Hue,” that will feature moving images from the Vietnam Center and Archive.
Narrated by Rob Low, the series Against the Odds unveils the harsh realities of war. The episode will included archival footage and first-hand interviews to illuminate U.S. troops who banded together during battle.
The episode with focus on three U.S. Marines battalions that, along with two Army battalions and South Vietnamese troops, beat the odds to defeat entrenched North Vietnamese troops and the Viet Cong in the South Vietnamese city in 1968.
For more details, click on any of these links.
The Vietnam Center and Archive celebrates TET – The Vietnamese New Year this Friday!
The Vietnam Center and Archive cordially invites you to join us as we celebrate the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Tet, on Friday, January 31st, 2014. Please come sample Vietnamese cuisine and learn more about the rich heritage and culture that makesVietnam remarkable.
Friday, January 31st, 2014 ushers the Luna Year of the Wooden Horse. InVietnam, one of the 12 animals of the zodiac represents each year. People born in the Year of the Horse are believed to be the most reasonable out of the five types of Horse signs. People born in the Year of the Wooden Horse are self-disciplined, organized, social and happy, but refused to be dominated.
Tet is the Vietnamese peoples most important holiday. Preparation for the celebration is very time consuming. Preparation includes, cooking, cleaning and painting their homes.
The Vietnam Center and Archive will start the celebration on Friday, January 31st, 2014 at 4:00pm in the
International Cultural Center at Texas Tech University. The event is open for everyone. We hope to see you there!
For more information, please visit www.vietnam.ttu.edu or
call (806) 742-9010.
The Vietnam Center & Archive will be closed Monday, January 20th, 2014 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Regular office hours will resume on Tuesday, January 21st, 2014.
REMINDER: The Vietnam Center and Archive will be closed for the holidays starting Saturday, December 21st 2013 through Tuesday, January 2nd 2014.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!
The Vietnam Center and Archive (VNCA) continued its commitment to honoring our veterans by participating in the third annual Veterans Appreciation Day.
On November 15th, 2013 several hundred students from Waters Elementary School in Lubbock, Texas attended the event. Students, grades Pre-K thru 5th, had the opportunity to view a restored Huey helicopter from the Vietnam War among other exhibits that celebrated our veterans.
VNCA staff, Kevin Sailsbury, shared with students in attendance era artifacts donated byVietnamveterans in “A Day in the Life of a Soldier.” Sheon Montgomery, VNCA Reference Archivist, also shared with the students the different types and uses of helicopters during the war. The event, which featured an informative exhibit timeline highlighting WWI through modern wars, also welcomed Kelly Crager and Vietnam Veteran pilot Lynn Stephens.