Vietnam War Stories

Expand/Collapse Vietnam War Stories


The Vietnam War Stories collection examines one of the most turbulent times in American history from the perspective of those who were there, both on the battlefield and at home. Produced by Iowa Public Television as part of the Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary, each segment includes archival footage and interviews with veterans and citizens of the era.

  • U.S. Veteran Describes Fighting in the Vietnam War

    By 1969, more than half a million Americans were stationed in Vietnam. Fighting in the jungle was chaotic and the goal was not only to accomplish the objectives of the mission, but to survive. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage and an interview with an Iowa veteran of the war. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • U.S. Veteran Describes Experiences as a Helicopter Pilot in the Vietnam War

    A United States Marine veteran describes his experiences as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. His duties ranged from delivering mail to troop insertion and extraction and picking up wounded. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes historical archival footage and first-person accounts to describe events and experiences of the war.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Experiences of a U.S. Veteran During the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War

    In January 1968, communist forces launched the largest offensive of the Vietnam War. Starting on the Vietnamese New Year known as Tet, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces attacked more than 100 South Vietnamese cities, catching South Vietnamese and United States forces totally by surprise. Although the Tet Offensive was considered a military failure for the communists, the scope of the conflict led the United States military, public and political leaders to rethink continued support for the war. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam includes archival footage and interviews with Iowa veteran Paul Dwyer. Dwyer describes his role as a radio operator during the war, and explains his experiences during the Tet Offensive.

    Grades: 6-12
  • News Correspondent Narrowly Avoids Disaster During Vietnam War

    A news correspondent tells the story of how an illness may have kept him alive in Vietnam. He was scheduled to accompany soldiers on a combat mission and his illness kept him from going on the deadly trip. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage and and a first-person account of experiences during the war. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • Agent Orange and the Vietnam War

    Agent Orange was the name of a potent herbicide that was used by United States troops during the Vietnam War to defoliate trees in the jungle. The chemical has since been determined to cause various diseases, including cancer. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage, and a first-person account of a veteran and his experiences with Agent Orange.

    Grades: 6-12
  • U.S. Veteran Describes Being a Prisoner of War in Vietnam

    During the Vietnam War many United States soldiers were captured and held as prisoners of war. Many soldiers reported being regularly tortured, and some were used for military propaganda. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam includes archival footage and interviews with Iowa veteran Harold Johnson. Johnson describes his role as a military jet pilot, his experience being captured, his days in captivity and his eventual release.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Experiences of a Nurse During the Vietnam War

    The Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation estimates that 11,000 military women were stationed in Vietnam during the conflict, and approximately 90 percent of them served as nurses. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage and an interview with Iowa veteran Grace Lilleg Moore. Moore describes her experiences as a nurse in the 12th Evacuation Hospital near Cu Chi, Vietnam, in 1968, and explains the emotional impact of this work during and after the war.

    Grades: 6-12
  • An African American’s Experience with Discrimination on the Battlefront and at Home During the Vietnam War

    African Americans volunteered in large numbers for the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. For some, the color line among troops blurred quickly in battle, but many still faced discrimination when they returned home. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage and interviews of veterans of the war.

     

    Grades: 6-12
  • Opposition to the Vietnam War in the United States

    As opposition to the Vietnam War grew, protests erupted in communities and college campuses across the United States. In May of 1970, four students were killed by Ohio National Guard troops on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio during a protest. The deaths shocked the nation and brought attention to the unrest of the times. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage and and first-person accounts from a news reporter, protester, and draft resistor from the era.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Paris Peace Accords End Direct Combat Role of United States in the Vietnam War

    In January of 1973 the Paris Peace Accords were signed after four years of negotiations, with the intent to establish peace in Vietnam and end the war. The Accords were signed by the United States, and North and South Vietnam. The agreement stated that armies from both North and South Vietnam would hold their positions, the United States military would withdraw from combat and leave the country, and both sides of the conflict would work together to find a peaceful path to reunification. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage and an interview with a veteran of the war.

    Grades: 6-12
  • U.S. Evacuation and Fall of Saigon During the Vietnam War

    By 1974, the North Vietnamese troops had violated the Paris Peace Accords and had renewed their attack on the south. It was clear the Republic of Vietnam would fall. In April of 1975, as North Vietnamese troops approached the southern capital of Saigon, President Ford ordered the evacuation of all Americans from the country. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage, a first-person account from a United States Marine helicopter pilot participating in the evacuation, and reflections on the era from an Iowa news reporter.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Experiences of Vietnam Veterans Returning Home from War

    When veterans returned home from Vietnam, some were treated well but many were treated poorly. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage and and first-person accounts from several veterans who share their experiences of returning home from the war.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Vietnam Veterans

    Many Vietnam veterans have experienced anxiety and other effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), both on the battlefield and upon returning home. Most soldiers who were involved in active combat situations in the war returned home with little assistance to make the transition back to civilian life. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage and a first-person account from a veteran of the war.

    Grades: 6-12

Brand: Iowa Public Television
Contributor: Iowa Public Television