Representatives of the Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive and the Institute for Peace & Conflict will be in Washington, D.C., this week.
Texas Tech University will be well represented this weekend during the U.S. Department of Defense's “Welcome Home” event, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of American troops' return from the Vietnam War.
Scheduled for Thursday through Saturday (May 11-13) on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the celebration will include flyovers, parachute drops, entertainment, historical exhibits, interactive engagements and more.
Among the participants is recent Texas Tech doctoral graduate Uyen “Carie” Nguyen, now a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Research Partner Fellow. She will participate in the panel discussion “U.S. Allies in the Vietnam War” at 11 a.m. Friday.
“With my research studying military history from the bottom-up approach – the experiences of U.S. Mobile Advisory Teams and their Vietnamese counterparts and local people,” Nguyen said, “I hope to share the importance of civil-military integration and human interconnection formed at many rural villages in an extremely challenging conflict, and foster inner peace, deeper understanding and healing for all involved veterans and their families.”
Steve Maxner, director of Texas Tech's internationally renowned Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive, and Ron Milam, executive director of the Institute for Peace & Conflict, will be on site throughout the celebration to provide information about their respective areas' work to collect and preserve the history of the Vietnam War and the legacy of Vietnam veterans' service and sacrifice. They will appear in a panel discussion, “How to Preserve Your Service Artifacts,” at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“As a Vietnam combat Veteran who vividly remembers the ‘end' of the war for American soldiers, I am so pleased that Texas Tech has been chosen not only as a participant to help preserve the legacy of Vietnam veterans' service to the nation, but also in recognizing our contribution to the teaching and research about the war by selecting Dr. Nguyen to represent our allies,” Milam said. “Steve, Carie and my presence will be recognized by thousands of veterans and their families as confirmation that Texas Tech is the home not only for their oral histories and artifacts of the war, but also as the place to study the effects of the war on America today.”
The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration is a national 50th anniversary commemoration authorized by Congress, established under the secretary of defense, and launched by President Barack Obama in 2012. Congress gave the initiative five objectives, first and foremost to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the nation.
“We are very excited to be participating in this important national event to thank Vietnam veterans and their families for all they have done in service to our nation,” Maxner said. “The Vietnam Center & Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive have been proudly working with our nation's veterans to collect and preserve their history for more than 30 years. As the nation's largest nongovernmental archive of the Vietnam War, we look forward to meeting many more veterans at this historic event in our nation's capital.
“To be selected to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime national recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone who has contributed to and supported us in this important work. So much remains to be done and we want to make sure Vietnam veterans and their families from around the country know there is a home for their history at Texas Tech. We remain passionately committed to preserving their legacy with the honor and respect they deserve and to ensuring generations today and in the future will have a place to study and learn about the Vietnam War from their unique perspectives.”
For more information, including a full schedule of events, click here.