Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates

Friday, March 8, 2013

In Memory of Dr. John Buesseler, 1920-2013

Col. John Buesseler, August 1970 - Photo by Capt. James B. Evans [va035803]

Col. John Buesseler, August 1970 – Photo by Capt. James B. Evans [va035803]

It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the death of a great friend, Dr. John Buesseler, who passed away on Thursday, March 7, 2013. For more than four decades, Dr. Buesseler has been an important member of our community in Lubbock, at Texas Tech University, and at TTU Health Sciences Center.  Dr. Buesseler is perhaps best known as the founding dean of the TTUHSC School of Medicine. In addition to his remarkable work in that position, he also served many patients as a practicing ophthalmologist and was very active in historical preservation projects in West Texas, to include founding the Texas Aviation Heritage Foundation, Incorporated (TAHFI) and bringing the Silent Wings Museum to Lubbock. Perhaps less widely known was his essential role in the founding and success of the Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University. Dr. Buesseler worked very closely with Dr. Jim Reckner, founding director of the Vietnam Center and Archive, along with many other supporters, and in 1989 they established what has become the most comprehensive archive of Vietnam War materials outside the U.S. National Archives.  As a veteran who served during World War II and the Vietnam War, both of these projects remained very near and dear to him until the end of his life.

Born in 1920, Dr. Buesseler is a member of that amazing generation of young Americans whose coming of age corresponded with the Great Depression, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the many terrible struggles that ensued in Europe and Asia during WWII. Following his service in Europe, Dr. Buesseler returned home, got married to his wonderful wife, Cathy, and they pursued a life together in medicine and teaching. In early 1970, as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves attached to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam, he organized and conducted a study of the US military medical evacuation system (also called MEDEVAC or DUSTOFF), a program that served as the foundation for the current helicopter medical evacuation system in place throughout the United States today.

Dr. Buesseler and Dr. James Reckner at the 2011 Vietnam Center Symposium

Dr. Buesseler and Dr. James Reckner at the 2011 Vietnam Center Symposium

Arriving in Lubbock in late 1970 to assume the founding deanship at TTUHSC, Dr. Buesseler then dedicated his life to the health and well-being of his patients, the education of TTUHSC students, and to the improvement of our community. He remained very active in both TAHFI and the Vietnam Center and Archive, serving on both boards and continuing to provide extensive support, guidance, and encouragement. The legacy of these two projects alone will remain as a testament to his vision, leadership, generosity, and devotion to Lubbock, TTU, and TTUHSC. They will also stand as living monuments to the memory of our nation’s military heroes, of which he was one.

In the words of our founding director, Dr. Jim Reckner, “Time takes its inevitable toll.  The shadows daily lengthen as the shining lights of John’s generation grow dimmer and ultimately are extinguished.  By their sacrifice, they established the basis for American security and prosperity for decades.  And now they go to eternal rest.”

At the request of the family, there will be no public memorial services held. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Cathy Buesseler and their family. John gave so much of himself to us and we will be forever grateful for his friendship and for all he did for our community and nation. May he rest in peace.

Posted by at 4:15 pm
Labels: announcements,general news
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Latest Issue of the Friends of the Vietnam Center Newsletter Available Online

The Fall 2012 issue of the Friends of the Vietnam Center Newsletter is now available online.  This issue contains articles on the VNCA’s partnership with the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration, information about our 2013 Annual Conference, to be held in September in Washington, DC, and more.

If you would like to receive a full color printed version of this newsletter in your mailbox, please consider becoming a friend of the Vietnam Center. Membership information can be found on our Friends of the Vietnam Center webpage.


Fall 2011 Issue:

Newsletter Back Issues:

Membership Information:

Posted by at 10:00 am
Labels: Celebrating our Heroes,conference/symposia,exhibits,general news,Guest Lecture Series,vietnam center
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day 2012

The staff of the Vietnam Center and Archive would like to take a moment to say Thank You to all veterans, their families, friends, and loved ones for their service.

Posted by at 2:45 pm
Labels: general news
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Vietnam Center and Archive to Join Forces with Michigan State

Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center and Archive will collaborate with Michigan State University’s Vietnam Group Archive on a recent grant  received to create an online repository.

The project received $265,000 in funding from the National  Endowment for the Humanities to digitize 100,000 pages of materials related to  the U.S. government’s early efforts to build a stable, non-communist regime in  South Vietnam. This will provide students and scholars across the world easy  digital access to materials significant to the study of Vietnam.

“What is very special about this particular project is that  Michigan State engaged in this very important project during the Vietnam War to  assist our government in developing a more efficient and effective  nation-building program for the Republic of Vietnam,” said Steve Maxner,  director of the Vietnam Center and Archive.

Texas Tech’s role in the project is to share insights and  the practices they used to develop the Virtual Vietnam Archive, which houses  over 3.2 million pages of scanned materials related to all aspects of American  involvement in Southeast Asia.

“Working with Michigan State to provide free international  access to this collection via the Virtual Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech will  help researchers and educators who wish to look more closely at this important  aspect of Vietnam War history,” Maxner said.

In return for Texas Tech’s support, Michigan State will  provide copies of the digitized “Vietnam Project” resources to add to the  Virtual Vietnam Archive. These documents, which cover a time period predating  the majority of Texas Tech’s collection, will fill a gap in the archive from  the 1960s to the 1970s.

“It will assist policy-makers who wish to gain valuable  knowledge from the nation-building experience in Vietnam and how those lessons  might apply to contemporary policies, and it will help create a better-informed  citizenry regarding these historical experiences and this very timely topic,”  Maxner said.

The Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech, which was  founded in 1989, houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of  materials relating to the Vietnam conflict outside of the U.S. National  Archives.

-Written by Sydney O’Drobinak (TTU Communications and Marketing)

Posted by at 8:40 am
Labels: general news
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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy Birthday U. S. Navy

Today is the Navy’s 237th birthday, and the Vietnam Center and Archive wants to wish the Navy and all Navy personnel a very happy birthday.  We have prepared a small exhibit of Navy materials from our collection to commemorate the occasion.  Please click on the link below.

Posted by at 6:00 am
Labels: announcements,archival collections,events,exhibits,general news,reference/outreach,vietnam archive,vietnam center
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Orderly Departure Program Digitization Update

The digitization of the Orderly Departure Program (ODP) Application Files of the FVPPA/VAHF collection is proceeding at a great pace and we are well ahead of schedule.  This three year project, funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), is projected to make available online 250,000 pages of materials documenting the immigration experience of Vietnamese to the United States following the end of the war in Vietnam.  After seven months we have digitized just under 5000 files, totaling over 100,000 pages of material.  All of these files are accessible through the Virtual Vietnam Archive, and you can keep up with the project on our project page.

Posted by at 3:32 pm
Labels: FVPPA Digitization,general news
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day from the Vietnam Center and Archive, and thank you to all of those who have worked to preserve our freedom!

Undated image, Dan Peckham Collection

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Monday, May 28, 2012

A Day of Remembrance

On this Memorial Day, the Vietnam Center and Archive remembers all of the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us and our freedom.  Thank you.

Posted by at 6:36 am
Labels: general news
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Vietnam Center and Archive is Hiring

Specialist IV (Archival Specialist)
*This is a full-time, temporary position (1 year)

Description: The Vietnam Archive seeks an archival specialist to provide assistance with the development of the Virtual Vietnam Archive. Working with the professional staff of the Vietnam Center and Archive, the Archival Specialist will assist in hiring, training and supervision of student employees; digitize archival collections; conduct quality control checks of digital files and records. The successful candidate will work closely with Archive staff and faculty in fulfilling their mission to collect and preserve primary documentation related to all aspects of the Vietnam War Era, to include military, diplomatic, cultural, and social history.

Preferred Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree, experience using PCs, scanners, and database software, work experience in a library, archive, or museum setting, interest in and/or knowledge of American history, military history, the Vietnam War era, Southeast Asia; strong organizational skills; strong oral and written communication skills; strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to build successful working relationships with a wide variety of individuals.

Salary and Benefits: Salary range is $10.29-$14.76/hour, commensurate with education and experience. Benefits include health insurance, optional dental, life, and disability insurance; retirement plan; vacation, sick, and holiday leave; longevity pay.

Note: This is a one-year temporary position.

To Apply: Apply online at, requisition number 86120. TTU is an EEO/AA/ADA Employer. Special Instructions to Applicants: Please attach cover letter, resume or CV, and a list of three references with contact information when applying for this position. Review of applications will begin June 7 and continue until the position is filled.

Departmental Contact: Mary Saffell

Posted by at 11:57 am
Labels: employment,general news,vietnam archive,virtual vietnam archive
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Armed Forces Day

Today is Armed Forces Day, a day to pay tribute to the men and women who serve in all branches of the United States’ armed forces.  The Vietnam Center and Archive would like to take a moment to thank all our veterans and active duty service members.

The Vietnam Center and Archive is proud to be the home to collections of materials from all branches of our military.  To see a few of these items, please visit our online exhibits page, which includes the following exhibits:

US Air Force

US Army

US Coast Guard

US Marine Corps

US Navy

Posted by at 6:30 am
Labels: exhibits,general news
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