A Minnesota PBS Initiative



KSMQ (Austin, MN) is one of the six PBS stations in Minnesota collaborating to highlight the state’s untold Vietnam War stories through the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam initiative.

KSMQ produced a half hour documentary and 10 short videos and partnered with a local veteran’s organization to present the videos at a live event.

Graphic with text saying Minnesota Remembers Vietnam and war images

 | 30-minute documentary
This is a half hour documentary that explores the relationship between Minnesota and Vietnam from being antagonists during the Vietnam War to modern day trading partners.

Gerald Mathais – Gerald grew up on a farm in Iowa. Shortly after graduating from high school, he was drafted and served our country fighting in Vietnam. Gerald talked about his experiences in Vietnam and what it was like to return to the quiet Midwest after such a tumultuous experience. Sadly, Gerald passed away shortly after this interview was completed.

Wayne Robertson – Wayne wanted to be a teacher after he graduated from college, but the US government had different plans for him. Shortly after graduating from Northern Iowa University, he was drafted and served our country fighting in Vietnam.

Ray King – Ray joined the Marines before the Vietnam War really started heating up. He got married shortly after signing up for the Corps. But his honeymoon was cut short by the US government.

Allen Huseby – Allen was a sentry dog handler during the Vietnam War. Allen and his dog, Hans, used to walk the perimeter of a helicopter base each evening looking for anything out of the ordinary.

The Nevilles – The Nevilles had very different experiences during the Vietnam War. Debbie protested the war while Pat served in Vietnam. After Pat returned from the war, he married Debbie. Unfortunately, Pat suffers heavily from the effects of Agent Orange.

William Curman – A neighbor told William not to become a paratrooper. Young William took that as a dare, so he joined the paratroopers and ended up fighting in Vietnam. Soon after joining the paratroopers, William realized his neighbor was warning him, not daring him. After the war, he was jailed as for protesting the war. Now, William is an artist.

Rose Le – When Rose was a girl, she moved to the U S from Vietnam. Her father had fought for the South and was imprisoned after the fall of Saigon. After four years, he was allowed to move his family to America. In 2002, Rose opened her own nail salon, Top Ten Nails, in Austin.

Joe Doherty – Joe worked for Army Intelligence at a base in Vietnam. He returned to Vietnam 50 years later as part of delegation of farmers.
Joe wasn’t interested in the past. He wanted to see how the county had changed and was happy with how Vietnam progressed after the war.

Gabrielle Gerbaud – Gabrielle Gerbaud is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Trade Office. Gabrielle talks about how commerce between Vietnam and Minnesota has grown in the last few decades.

Olga Reuvekamp – Olga Reuvekamp is the Executive Director of MARL (Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership). A delegation of MARL representatives recently traveled to Vietnam to scout Vietnam’s agricultural industry.



KSMQ partnered with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin (A network of citizens and community organizations supporting our active duty, reserve and guard soldiers, their families and veterans through community support) to show the stories that the station produced for the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam project during a display of the Traveling Wall exhibit at the Mower County Fairgrounds.

The initiative’s series of original content, public screenings, story gatherings, and commemorative events seek to more fully remember, honor, and understand the Vietnam War experience. To learn more about any upcoming events throughout the state, visit the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam events page.

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