( March 25, 2019)
Author: Paul Heling
Source: WTAQ News Talk Radio
The Old Glory Honor Flight's two week trip to Vietnam is over. The 52 Vietnam war veterans are back with their families and friends across Northeast Wisconsin. But the story of their historic return, 50 years after serving in that war-devastated land, will not be forgotten.
One of the people who'll make sure of that is Jenny Vanden Heuvel. She and others started by doing interviews with the veterans, gatherings memories of their original tours in Vietnam. But that's just the beginning, "Capturing what happens on the trip and the welcome home. And, the combination of all that together is going to be a book."
The plan is not to make this book simply a memento for the veterans. More like a history lesson covering a period of time in the American past that Vanden Heuvel doesn't believe has been very well covered in your typical school classroom, "Our hope is to be able to share additional copies with local schools, local libraries, families, friends. To be able to share this experience with others... and to really make a powerful impact on those who couldn't be on the trip."
And she says with the talents of people like trip photographer Jim Koepnick, and her own dedication to the veterans, their stories, and the mission of the Old Glory Honor Flight, the publication of this book will happen soon. And the tale of the American heroes and their "Return To Nam" will live on for future generations.
On a personal level, Vanden Heuvel knew her story was opposite from those of the 52 veterans. She's young, a female, and doesn't have any military background. She has humbled to have the veterans open up to her regardless. "To have the honor and the trust and the respect. The respect to be able to talk to them and have them open their hearts to that and share with others, understand the value that brings is a very powerful thing," said Vanden Heuvel.
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