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 What people are saying about Haunting Legacy

"What a terrific book!"

Lesley Stahl, correspondent for 60 Minutes


"This is great narrative history and biography combined to create informative case studies."

Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute


"Marvin Kalb and Deborah Kalb’s account of this phenomenon is studiously researched, vividly narrated, and, above all, highly readable. It will stand as a major contribution to the subject."

Stanley Karnow, author of Vietnam: A History and winner of the Pulitzer Prize

 

To read more reviews of Haunting Legacy, click here.

Monday
Apr302012

Q&A with Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution

Stephen Hess, a well-respected expert on Washington's political culture, has written many books on the presidency, the media, and related topics. He is a senior fellow emeritus in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, and worked in both the Eisenhower and Nixon administrations.

Q: You have spent many years studying the interplay between the press and the government. What impact did the Vietnam War have on that relationship?

A: During the period of my studies, The Washington Reporters (1981) and The Government/Press Connection (1984), there was no doubt of the profound impact the Vietnam War had on this relationship. The question I would want to ask now is what change is generational. Do reporters born after Vietnam still professionally carry forward the government/press lessons of Vietnam? Haunting Legacy successfully makes the case of Vietnam’s DNA in the presidency. But would the same be true in journalism? Daily journalists do not have the same historical memory as presidents or secretaries of state.  Journalism is an occupation that is born anew each morning. And maybe that’s old-fashioned: given the technological changes, born anew each nanosecond. Indeed, it would be a fascinating study if the Kalbs asked the same questions about journalism that they asked of the presidency.

Q: As a scholar of the presidency, do you feel that the Vietnam War weakened the institution of the presidency? Why or why not?

A: The remarkable resiliency of the presidency is one of the more notable characteristics of the United States. From the shame of Richard Nixon’s resignation to Ronald Reagan’s “morning in America ” was barely a decade. Or a nation mortified by defeat in Vietnam soon felt itself bold enough to invade Kuwait. I don’t think I would have had as much fun studying the presidency had it been otherwise.

Stephen Hess has also graciously offered some additional reflections on his time spent working in the White House during the Nixon administration, when the Vietnam War was underway:

During Nixon’s 1968 campaign, my field was domestic, but once in March I was recruited to debate Henry Kissinger before a large audience of youth in Boston. “Debate” isn’t quite the right word because I kept deferring to Henry, who was speaking for Nelson Rockefeller. I was surprised at how nervous Henry was. I doubt he’d ever addressed 16-year-olds before. I kept my remarks focused on abolishing the draft, Nixon’s only proposal that I figured youth would support. I probably won the debate! I didn’t see Henry again until the GOP convention in Miami. Nixon had a lock on a first-ballot nomination, but Henry assured me that Rockefeller would win on the third ballot.

In 1969, Kissinger and I, both on the White House staff, had offices across the hall from each other in the basement of the West Wing. We also happened to use the men’s room at the same time each morning. Standing side by side one morning, Henry said, “You were right, Steve, he [Nixon] is the right man for this moment in history.” Thus ended our debate. We also had a morning ritual where I said, “Good morning, Henry, when are you going to end the war so that we can have some money for domestic concerns?” (I was deputy assistant to the president for urban affairs.) And Henry replied, “Good morning, Steve, when can you start a riot, distracting the press, so that I have time to end the war?”  This is usual staff banter.  But Vietnam’s draining the treasury was very real and very serious at a time of urban crisis. It’s useful to think of Vietnam in more than an international context.

In terms of Kissinger’s request for a domestic “riot,” the war was doing that without any help from me. We did have a number of unannounced meetings with youth leaders. Perhaps they helped us better understand each other. Nothing more. I do remember looking out my West Wing window one morning and seeing an unpainted fence around Lafayette Park. I immediately called upstairs to John Ehrlichman. “John. There’s an unpainted fence around Lafayette Park.” “So what?” “John, can you imagine what the president will see on the fence when he looks out his window tomorrow?” (I used stronger words on what the message would say.) “What do you suggest?” “If you get the paint, I’ll get the schoolchildren of Washington to paint a mural.” It was done and the mural of American history was briefly a tourist attraction. And so I fought the war against unruly youth.

In November 1969, the president appointed me National Chairman of the White House Conference on Youth, and I made a lot of speeches on college campuses. Speeches would not ease youth’s feelings about Vietnam, but at least they suggested that someone from government would come and listen. I remember one painful appearance at the College of Wooster in Ohio, where an especially abusive student kept shouting at me. When I was in the Green Room waiting to leave, she came to apologize for her language. This was unexpected and appreciated. Where was she from? Arlington, Virginia. Her father worked for the CIA. Oh my.

Interview with Deborah Kalb, co-author of Haunting Legacy.

 

Stephen Hess
Monday
Apr232012

Q&A with Janis Nark, Lt. Col. USAR (Ret.)

Janis Nark, Lt. Col. USAR (Ret.), was 21 years old when she went to Vietnam as an Army nurse, and two decades later served in Desert Storm. She now sits on the board of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

Q:  How would you describe your experience serving in Vietnam, and how did it compare with your experience in Desert Storm?

A: I was 21 and 22 years old when I served as a nurse in Vietnam. I had to learn a lot in a very short period of time. We young nurses struggled daily with the trauma or the tedium, and every day we sandbagged our hearts and our minds in order to do our jobs. We pushed the emotions down and said "I'll deal with this later." For many that " later" would have to wait for 20 or 40 years, or forever. I was 41 and 42 for Desert Storm. I spiraled into a deep depression. I had lots of good reasons for being depressed, but they had nothing to do with Desert Storm, they had everything to do with Vietnam and all the memories, emotions and pain I had "stuffed." I simply didn't know that at the time. I just thought I was going crazy. This was the beginning of my dealing with PTSD. It's been a long journey and is still a work in progress.

Q:  How have things changed for women in combat zones from the Vietnam era to today, and do you see additional changes on the way?

A: That's hard for me to say since I have no first-hand experience of what things are like for the women with their boots on the ground now. I can tell you some of what I've seen in my volunteer work with the Disabled Vets at their Winter Sports Clinic here in Snowmass, CO. I see the women in wheelchairs. One is a pretty blonde I've been watching for six years. When I first saw her she was tiny, shriveled up and non-communicative. I heard the story from one of her caregivers. She was in Iraq, a Marine out on patrol with her squad. She was beaten and raped by each one of them and left for dead. She managed to somehow get herself found. They are all behind bars for a while. She will be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Each year she sits a little taller in her chair, she has the use of one hand, her hair is clean and combed and we talk. I tell her how proud I am of her progress, and last year I saw her smile for the first time. There are women with "therapy dogs," many with artificial limbs, of course wheelchairs; there are more every year. Men getting used to women in combat will take a long, long time. Their treatment by the VA in many instances is shameful, grossly inadequate, antiquated and dismissive.

Q:  What reactions did you get upon returning to the United States from Vietnam, and did you find differences in how people reacted to you compared with how they reacted to men returning from the  war?

A: Only my family knew I had been in Vietnam. They didn't know how to deal with me. They were loving and kind, but I had changed. In the span of one plane ride I had gone from war to peace, in the span of one year from childhood to irrevocable adulthood. As difficult as it was for the young men to talk about the war after their return, it was impossible for the women to do so. Even as "Women's Lib" was making its voice heard and the feminist movement was sweeping America, the overriding perception at the time was, "Nice girls didn't join the Army, nice girls certainly didn't go to war." I knew that wasn't true, and frankly that just pissed me off. So I didn't talk about it. It was my deepest darkest secret for 20 years till Desert Storm when it all came crashing down on me.

Q:  You are on the board of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial  Fund—how do you think the Wall has affected perceptions of the war?

A: I don't believe the mission of The Wall was to affect the perception of the war in Vietnam. It was built to honor those who served and those who died. It's a place of healing. It's a safe place to go to grieve, to meet those who served, those who waited, those who lost. It's a place of honoring and remembrance and communicating with those lost souls…the father, the brother, the daughter, the buddy, the son, the patient we couldn't save.

I think that's why The Center is so critical an adjunct to our Wall. We have so much more to say, to share, to honor. This will be the place it happens.

Q: What do you think the Vietnam War’s impact has been on the thinking of subsequent U.S. leaders when they consider sending  troops into battle?

A: I don't think they think at all.

Q:  Anything else you think we should know?

A: The book "What It Is Like To Go To War" by Karl Marlantes should be required reading by every member of the Armed Forces and Congress, and especially our commander in chief. It should also be required reading by every person before they are allowed to raise their hand  and serve in our armed forces.

Interview with Deborah Kalb, co-author of Haunting Legacy.

 

Janis Nark
Monday
Apr162012

Q&A with journalist Andy Glass

Andrew J. Glass arrived in Washington as a reporter in 1962, and has covered pretty much every major news event since then; he spent more than two decades as D.C. bureau chief for Cox Newspapers.

Q: As a reporter covering Washington for many years, do you think the Vietnam War had a lasting impact on presidential politics, and if so, how?

A: The failed war spawned distrust in the political process by the public and much of the media, including every race for the White House, which persists to this day.

Q: When you covered the Persian Gulf War in 1991, did you think the military and the Bush I administration had absorbed lessons from Vietnam?

A: The circumstances of that conflict were far removed from those that infused Vietnam, which was widely noted at time. A brief ground war and a low loss of life contributed to a feeling that it was a “good ” war.  

Q: Do you think the Vietnam War was a "lost" war? Why or why not?

A: Fundamentally, a generation of U.S. leaders that had lived through the run up to World War II as adults saw Vietnam as an integral element in a bipolar power struggle with evil adversaries. It was many things, but it was not that. It was unwinnable as well because as Gen. Giap once told me on a visit to Hanoi, “we wanted to prevail more than you did.”

Q: In your opinion, what is the best course for President Obama to take in Afghanistan?

A: Withdraw all military and economic support ASAP.

Q: What is the most exciting story you've covered during your career, and why?

A: Running around in Soviet choppers not very high above Afghanistan in 1982 with an elite Spitznaz unit – their version of the U.S. Special Forces – while a colleague entered the country through Peshawar with the muhajadeen. We subsequently wrote a series of articles for the Cox Newspapers on the two faces of war. Our reporting effort received scant attention from most Cox editors and, perhaps as a consequence, little feedback from readers.

Q: Anything else we should know?

A: We should know, that more often than not, we don’t know and, probably, cannot find out.

 

Interview with Deborah Kalb, co-author of Haunting Legacy.

 

 

Andy Glass
Tuesday
Apr102012

Q&A with author, historian, journalist, and Vietnam veteran Marc Leepson

Marc Leepson's books cover topics ranging from the Civil War to the American flag to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. He is arts editor of the VVA Veteran Magazine, and served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam during the war. His website is www.marcleepson.com.

Q: You have written about the Civil War, and you served in the Vietnam War and have written about that war as well. How would you compare the two divisive conflicts in terms of their lasting impact on the United States?

A: The Civil War was the crucible of American history. At least 660,000 Americans were killed, fighting one another on American soil. The South was devastated physically. Slavery ended, but only after the nation was nearly torn apart. The impact of that still is being felt, primarily in the South. The issue of states’ rights still is in the forefront of the national political picture in 2012. As are race relations.

The Vietnam War also continues to have a strong impact. Today’s all-volunteer force, for one thing, is a direct result of the inequities of the draft during the Vietnam War. That war also continues to resonate among the huge Baby Boom generation (also known as the Vietnam War generation), which was extremely divided then over the war. Although tensions have cooled considerably, the divisiveness engendered over that war is not far below the surface.

And, as your book Haunting Legacy points out, the Vietnam War continues today to have an impact on national politics, especially at the presidential level.

Q: In your biography of the Marquis de Lafayette, you write about his experiences serving with George Washington in the Revolutionary War. Given the very different time periods two centuries apart, what is your impression of the military leadership of the Americans during the Revolutionary War, compared with the U.S. military leadership in the Vietnam conflict?

A: The biggest difference that stands out is the leadership at the top. George Washington as commander in chief of the Continental Army was primarily responsible for the victory over enormous odds. Although by no means perfect, Washington turned out to be a brilliant, courageous leader who led his men on the ground and was often very good at tactics and strategy. William Westmoreland, the American commander in Vietnam for much of the war, was a dismal failure in all of those areas.

Of course, there were other good military leaders during the American Revolution; Washington didn’t win it alone. But his leadership proved crucial.

As for the Vietnam War, there were excellent generals and other great military leaders. Gens. Creighton Abrams, Fred Weyand, Victor Krulak, and Lew Walt and Col. (later Gen.) Hal Moore come to mind. But their courage and leadership abilities couldn’t overcome the weaknesses at the very top.

Q: Another of your books is about the American flag. How did the flag's image change, or remain the same, during the Vietnam period?

A: The Vietnam War was unique in American history with respect to the American flag. Unlike all of the other wars fought by the United States in which flying the American flag symbolized commitment to the war effort, the flag’s role during the Vietnam War was vastly different. By the end of the 1960s what has been called “a cultural war” using the flag as its primary symbol had broken out in the nation, a cultural war caused by the bitter antagonism in this country over the war.

Vietnam War hawks displayed the flag as the primary emblem of their support for the war, as well as their anti-communism and their disdain for those who spoke out against the war. That was expressed in flag-accented phrases such as “Love it or leave it” and “My country right or wrong.” Doves flew the flag as well, but the message they conveyed was not support for the war.

To the contrary, doves displayed the flag upside down as a sign of distress; they created posters with the stars arrayed in the peace sign and other forms of protest; they wore American flag shirts and bandannas; they flew the 13-star “Betsy Ross” flag. The most radical elements of the antiwar movement defiantly displayed the Viet Cong flag. And some antiwar protesters burned the Stars and Stripes to protest the American war in Vietnam.

Q: How were you treated as a veteran returning from Vietnam, and how does that compare with the treatments of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan?

A: No one spat at me or called me a baby killer when I came home from Vietnam in December of 1968. But they didn’t have to; the feeling was in the air that Vietnam veterans were not welcome in their own country.

It wasn’t just from the antiwar crowd, which blamed us for taking part in the war. It also came from many of those who supported the war, who blamed us for not winning. It’s a shameful thing to think that so many Americans turned their backs on Vietnam veterans, but it happened and today many Vietnam veterans are still bitter about it. That’s the reason why Vietnam veterans often still greet each other by saying, “Welcome home.”

I guess the only good thing that came out of this has been the fact that Americans woke up to the situation in the early 1980s following the release of the hostages in Iran and the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and they began to stop blaming the warrior for the war. That set in motion the almost universal support by Americans, regardless of how they feel about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for the veterans returning home from those conflicts.

Q: Do you have a favorite time period to research, and if so, why?

A: If I had to choose, I’d say the last third of the 19th century in this country because there is a wealth of primary source material available and because the country grew so rapidly in so many ways after the Civil War.

Q: Anything else we should know?

A: I am working on a proposal for my next book, but the topic is a state secret because book proposals are so iffy these days. It’s more U.S. history, in the nature of a biography of a 19th century figure whose name you know.

Interview with Deborah Kalb, co-author of Haunting Legacy.

 

 

Marc Leepson

Tuesday
Apr032012

Q&A with war correspondent Joseph Galloway

Joseph Galloway is a well-known war correspondent, author and lecturer. He covered the Vietnam War, as well as many other military conflicts, and is the co-author of several books, including the Vietnam War classic We Were Soldiers Once...And Young.

Q: How would you compare the coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the coverage of the Vietnam War?

A: There's a vast difference in how the wars of today in Iraq and Afghanistan are covered when compared to how the Vietnam War was covered. The technology of transmitting the words, images and films of reporters and photographers has advanced exponentially. Where once we spent hours screaming down military telephone lines to dictate 400 words from some provincial capital to our bureaus in Saigon; where once it could take a day or two for your undeveloped film to be "pigeoned" to Saigon, processed, printed and& captioned and then sent out by radiophoto transmitter by Saigon PTT; where once it could take a day or two for unprocessed TV film to be carried to Saigon; another day for it to be carried to Tokyo or Hong Kong where it could be processed and roughly edited before being transmitted via cable to New York and the evening news shows---now there are satellite telephones that fit in a reporter's pocket and the equipment to feed a live TV broadcast that fits in a small suitcase. Information and images flow instantly.

    Beyond the technical aspect there is the more important difference in control exerted by the military on those who would cover soldiers and Marines in battle. Vietnam was the most openly and freely covered war in American history. In World Wars I and II there was official censorship of all press material. Correspondents were de facto members of the military and subject to military orders and military justice. In Korea there was less in the way of official censorship but control of communications, travel and access gave the military much of what it wanted.

    In Vietnam there was no censorship and no control to speak of. Anyone with a letter from an editor back home could pitch up in Saigon and get accreditation from the U.S. and Vietnamese military commands. All the U.S. officials asked was that one sign a simple one-page pledge to obey a few basic operational security rules: 1. I will not report on the movement of allied troops while that movement is still underway. 2. I will not report the actual number of friendly casualties in an engagement while it is still underway. Instead I will categorize friendly losses as light, medium or heavy. etc.

    With a U.S. press card you could travel anywhere in Vietnam on U.S. military transportation. You could visit virtually any American unit and stay as long as you wished or your editor permitted. There was no pre-censorship. At any given time during the eight years of direct U.S. military involvement in Vietnam (1965-1973) there were an average of 400 to 500 accredited correspondents. Seventy of them were killed in action while trying to get the story and photos and film of the war. Many others were wounded.

    Since Vietnam the military has again reverted to a Korean War model of controlling access and communications. The U.S. military invaded the island of Grenada and captured it eventually, without a single correspondent being present. The media were simply locked out. Protests and complaints led to the formation of a media ready reaction pool in Washington, D.C. Members had to be prepared to leave on very short notice for an undisclosed location. When the invasion of Panama came along the pool was alerted and flown to Panama, and then its members were locked up in a hangar on an air base and kept there until the action was over. More complaints and negotiations.

    When the Gulf War was brewing in 1990 the military began cooking up a plan to form 10 pools of 10 journalists each to cover the coming war with Iraq. Each pool would be under control of an officer, usually a colonel, who would decide where they could go, what they could cover and would have the power to censor their pool reports or to refuse to forward those reports at all. Some 1,200 correspondents from all over the world descended on Saudi Arabia, most going to the International Hotel in Dhahran; the rest to the Marriott Hotel in Riyadh to cover allied and U.S. headquarters there.

    With an allied force of over 600,000 troops the number of pools was clearly inadequate. On the eve of the invasion in 1991 the number was increased to 15 pools of 10 correspondents each. The system was still too few too late. At the end of a brilliant 100-hour campaign the military discovered that it had no photos or film of the tank battles in Kuwait. The "heroes" of the Gulf War, in the absence of real news coverage of the combat and the troops on the front, became the briefing officers in Riyadh and in the Pentagon. Army division commanders bemoaned their own decisions to lock up their press pool in the rear, or their failure to provide a helicopter to ferry them around a large, mostly empty and impassable desert battleground.

    All this led to some improvements in military-media relations when it came to planning for a U.S. invasion of Haiti in the mid-1990s. Although U.S. forces did not have to fight their way in, plans had been laid to take along embedded journalists if it came to that. The idea of embedding journalists with American combat units came to fruition in Bosnia. An embed was expected to spend a long time with his assigned combat unit--weeks rather than days. The longer the better. This made for much improved access for the media, and much more informed reporting for and about the military.

    When serious preparations began in the fall of 2002 for an invasion of Iraq one of the Pentagon's biggest worries was that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's propaganda machine would churn out lies about American atrocities, misplaced airstrikes and the like...and it would be hard to counter those lies. A decision was made in the office of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to set up a massive program to embed U.S. and foreign journalists with every combat unit involved on land, air and sea operations. In the end more than 725 embeds accompanied the force that invaded Iraq in early 2003.

    After the fall of Baghdad and Saddam's government, the numbers of embedded media shrank quickly. As the months and years drew on those numbers covering the Iraq War would shrink even more as American viewers and readers turned away from unpleasant news, and as newspapers began severe cost-cutting moves to stay afloat as their business model began failing. Keeping a war correspondent in Iraq cost approximately $32,000 per month and it was easy for an editor or a publisher to say: Let the AP cover it for us. The numbers that covered the Vietnam War from beginning to end simply were not there to cover the Iraq War. Even fewer to cover Afghanistan.

Q: Do you think that the American public’s perception of Vietnam veterans has changed over the decades, and if so, how?

A: The American public's perception of Vietnam veterans has indeed changed drastically over the nearly four decades since the last Americans lifted out of Saigon aboard helicopters in April 1975. If you don't believe this take a look at the last U.S. Census, which asked a question about military service. Just over three million Americans served in the Indochina Theater during 10 years of the Vietnam War. Yet some 10 million Americans claimed to have served in Vietnam when asked that census question. At the time of the war, middle-class males ducked behind college deferments to avoid serving in Vietnam. Others went to Canada to avoid the draft. Demonstrators filled the streets. But now being a Vietnam veteran seems to be a desirable thing in our society.

    In the first years after the war ended our country remained deeply divided in how it thought about this war and its veterans. We were unable to separate the war so many opposed and hated from the young men our country and its political leaders of both parties sent to fight that war. Veterans generally went to ground in the crossfire, keeping quiet about their service.

    There were several catalysts for a change in thinking about Vietnam veterans, not least the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., in 1982. Veterans donated the funds to build the Wall. Veterans led the campaign to gain congressional approval for its construction. Vietnam veterans are leading a current campaign to collect the funds needed to build an Education Center underneath the National Mall adjacent to the Memorial.

    Another of the catalysts involved the welcome home parades and ceremonies across the nation for troops returning home at the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The parades were huge and glorious and even those who opposed that, or all, wars could celebrate the end of a war and the troops coming home. As those troops marched down America's biggest boulevards they reached out and pulled Vietnam veterans off the sidewalks and into their ranks--in effect sharing their warm homecoming with those who never got one after their war ended.

    I like to think that the book We Were Soldiers Once...and Young, co-authored by Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and myself, had a little something to do with changing how Americans thought about the young men it sent to fight in the war of our youth. The war we had seen, the young soldiers and officers we had known, were honorable men who did the best they could in a very bad situation. When America's leaders could offer no reasonable explanation for why they were sent to fight, these young men simply fought for each other, laid down their lives for each other. While we wrote about two battles early in a long war, our words were meant for all who served in that war. Our goal was to say a heartfelt Thank You to them, and in so doing to help restore their pride in that service.

Q: In your opinion, should Vietnam be described as a "lost" war? Why or why not?

A: Our political leaders, from Dwight Eisenhower to John F. Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson to Richard Nixon, all declared that our purpose in taking an ever-growing hand in Vietnam's civil war was to support and defend and ensure the survival of the government of South Vietnam. Obviously we failed to reach and sustain our objective. That government fell at the end of April 1975. There are those who say we didn't lose the war because our last troops departed Vietnam in 1973. In my view there's no question that Vietnam was, for us, a "lost war." It is a painful admission, but a truthful admission. We lost. They won. But we still have the possibility of winning the peace in Vietnam. Those who were our enemies there, and their successors in government, now welcome American diplomats, American businessmen, American tourists.

Q: How has Vietnam factored into subsequent presidents' decision-making when it comes to sending troops to war?

A: For a brief period after the end of the war in Vietnam there was talk of how that outcome had hamstrung American diplomacy overseas, and put a damper on the idea of American military intervention anywhere around the globe. But not for long. Too much was happening in the world. The Berlin Wall was falling; communism in Russia was dying; the Cold War was ending. America the subdued was again America the triumphant. And so followed interventions in Beirut, Grenada, Panama. The Persian Gulf War. The Haiti intervention. By the time a new president, George W. Bush, had gotten settled into his new quarters we had 9/11 and our intervention in Afghanistan. Followed soon enough by the invasion of Iraq. It seemed that no one in the Bush administration had read any history at all, much less any history of the Vietnam War. Those wars would drag on to the end of the administration and beyond; one would sputter to an inconclusive end; the other sputters toward a similar end in 2014. We got out of Iraq with some of our dignity intact but there is increasing fear that we may leave Afghanistan in a hail of gunfire from both our "friends" and our enemies.

Q: Do you think the topic of the Vietnam War is of interest to many Americans born since the end of the war?

A: I travel this country speaking to audiences of active duty military, veterans, and students. It is my impression that many young Americans born since the end of our war have a great interest in that war, as evidenced by the popularity of college courses on the history of the war. School children make up many of the millions who visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the nation's capital each year. It is for them and future generations that the Education Center at the Memorial is being built.

Joseph Galloway reporting from Vietnam in 1966.

 

--Interview with Deborah Kalb, co-author of Haunting Legacy