Letter to the editor: Upcoming series documents Vietnam War


Starting Sept. 17 on PBS TV they will air a 10-part, 18-hour documentary from Ken Burns about the Vietnam War. From seeing Ken Burns recently on TV being interviewed about this series, it appears to do a very good job in presenting many aspects of the war from all sides.

The conflict (as it was then called) actually began Nov. 1, 1955 when President Eisenhower sent in the first troops until President Ford declared an end to hostilities April 30, 1975: A total of 19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day. That will be 62 years ago this November when it all began. The aftermath of the war still affect many to this day.

I served in the USAF from June 1964 to June 1968 and was stationed at Clark AFB in the Philippines from April 1966 until November 1967. Our unit was directly involved with the air war over Vietnam and many of the American servicemen wounded in Vietnam were brought to the hospital at Clark, so I have many memories from those times.

Many from my generation were touched by the war directly or indirectly. The Department of Defense records indicate 58,220 servicemen and women lost their lives in the war; 1,077 of those were from Minnesota; 303,604 were wounded and 153,303 of those required a stay in the hospital.

Regardless of your position or feelings about the Vietnam War, I would encourage everyone to watch.