Bryan Bell

      I was personally impacted by a few of the interviews for the oral history project.  I was raised by my grandparents, so I never really personally grew up hearing any stories about the 1960s because my grandparents had already grown up and decided their morals before that decade. It was emotional hearing about some of the struggle for equality for Civil Rights, such as Mrs. Jacqueline Hassell told us about in her interview, and how she even had a friend who was forever maimed and even almost murdered, just because of the color of his skin. Another key point that really stuck with me was when Mrs. Charlsie Brooks was telling me about the “Waiting Wives”, and  how the Vietnam Veterans were criticized after they had returned home and they were not welcomed back with open arms. It blows my mind knowing our society could do things such as blaming the individual soldiers for the incidents that were happening in Vietnam, especially when we knew that there was a draft enforced then. I also found it amazing, when watching Mr. Fred Posadas’s video, the intense effect the counter-culture and television had on the entire world and how the message of peace and love traveled to many countries, and gave local citizens hope all around the world.

     The Oral History project changed a lot of notions for me about the history of the 1960s, mainly because I never really knew any of the full stories. I’ve always known that Vietnam was a dark, debated time in our recent history, but I have never exactly known the reasons why. Mrs. Charlsie Brooks told me that she was not even allowed to tell anyone her husband was in Vietnam because some people would become hostile towards the “waiting wives”. I understand the anti-war movement and if I were alive back then, I too, probably would have joined among them, but it is insane to me for them to take any frustration out on the wife of a soldier who is overseas. Also, the part that will stick with me, out of all the interviews about Vietnam, is when Mr. Posadas was describing entering Vietnam and his quote, “War is horrible”. Another part, I remember learning more about Vietnam from Mr. Orlando Correa’s video when he was speaking about the draft and the draft lottery. I do agree with him that the lottery was a better choice of the two, but I am totally against any sort of forced military service. Mr. Correa also stated that towards the end of the 1960s, people started to question the war after finding out the Gulf of Tonkin had been exaggerated. The last part I want to bring up about Vietnam was from Patricia Lake’s interview where she confirmed what Mr. Correa said about people questioning the war and government.

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