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News stories tagged with "vietnam"

Vietnam vet reaches out to young soldiers with "Facing PTSD"

Tom Smith grew up in Connecticut, but his family has owned land in Keene Valley for four generations. He was drafted in 1968 and flew helicopters in Vietnam. Smith saw lots of combat, was shot down numerous times, and when he returned to the States, he says he was a changed person - easily irritated and angered.

In the '70's and '80's he moved around, living in Alaska, Hawaii, California and then back in the Adirondacks.

He turned to writing as a way of coming to terms with post-traumatic stress disorder. He calls his third book, Facing PTSD: a Combat Vet Learns to Live with the Disorder, an auto-ethnography. It includes heartwarming stories of family and friends and also comical adventures. Tom and his wife, Kathy, have two sons. He told Todd Moe that while he is still dealing with bouts of pain, anger and sadness, life is good. Todd spoke with Smith from his home in Keene Valley about his time in Vietnam, writing the book and reaching out to a new generation of "wounded warriors".  Go to full article
Margaret Mahan, Drew Matott and Tom Lascell complete a batch of paper at SLU
Margaret Mahan, Drew Matott and Tom Lascell complete a batch of paper at SLU

Art from the fibers of war

A group of artists and veterans has returned to St. Lawrence University this month along with a sample of artwork made from military uniforms. Through the Combat Paper Project's paper making workshops, vets use their uniforms worn in combat to create healing, therapeutic works of art. The project began a few years ago in Burlington and has chapters around the country. Workshops, exhibits and artists' talks have been held in dozens of locations in the U.S., Canada and parts of Europe. Todd Moe stopped by the art studios at St. Lawrence University to watch the paper making process -- where old uniforms become art and vets reconcile their experiences.  Go to full article

Arts and healing for women vets

An Adirondack group that combines the arts and healing begins its eleventh season this summer. The annual gathering at Great Camp Sagamore for women with cancer and chronic illness uses music, visual arts, yoga, writing, storytelling and nature walks to help women deal with their disease. Women at the Arts and Healing retreat say the rural setting of Great Camp Sagamore helps them slow down and focus. There are two retreats this year at Camp Sagamore and Piseco Lake. Creative Healing Connections co-founder and storyteller Fran Yardley tells Todd Moe that this year also marks a new chapter; the group is offering a retreat for women veterans dealing with issues from active duty in the first Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam.  Go to full article
Tom and Nellie Coakley with Tom Brokaw
Tom and Nellie Coakley with Tom Brokaw

Canton couple remembers Vietnam

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the socially and politically significant year, 1968. Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw's latest book, Boom! - Voices of the '60s, explores the pivotal events of the 1960s. A Canton couple is among the Vietnam veterans profiled in the book. In a moving chapter, Tom and Nellie Coakley talk about their experiences in Vietnam and how the war changed their lives. The Coakleys met at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital while Tom was recovering from battle injuries and Nellie was a nurse. Nellie told Todd Moe she'd always wanted to be an army nurse and volunteered to go to Vietnam.  Go to full article

Commentary: Thoughts on War From One of the Undecided

Surveys of public opinion show deep skepticism about the reasons for war against Iraq. Commentator Elle Berger is among those thinking hard about the choices the country is facing.  Go to full article

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