A Minnesota PBS Initiative

Bloomington Remembers Vietnam

The City of Bloomington and Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemorative Partners hosted a free reunion picnic on July 8, 2017 at Moir Park, Bloomington. With the help of TPT's Minnesota Remembers Vietnam team, community members shared their personal perspectives on the Vietnam War. 

It took a long time to get back. It does kill something inside of you. For the longest time it was just like it was a dead spot.

I figured, well I'm gonna take a choice rather than a chance. I don't want to muddle through the swamps and stuff.

It becomes a brotherhood. These guys, they become closer to you than family. I cannot tell a family member what I went through but I can sit and chat with and talk to a veterans and it’s a healing process.

40 years later, it is causing problems not only to us, but to our kids and grandkids. It very much upsets us that our children have to suffer something that the government put on us while we were there.

That’s the best thing they can do is just listen to some good music. We played the Beatles, Rolling Stones… We’re second best because the Beatles aren’t going to go there!

You have to wake up and decide what you're going to do. Are you gonna live as a casualty for the rest of your life, or are you gonna cast that cloak off and live?

It seemed to be a lot safer, with a child on the way, to be working in a glass control tower rather than in a foxhole with a helmet on your head being shot at.

Joining the Marine Corps taught me about truth and honor and respect and definitely shaped who I am today. I’ll never be ashamed of what I did during the war and what the Marine Corps made of me.

We live, we trust, He decides it. Go, or stay, that's up to Him. We're lucky.

Most importantly, when the war was over they could move into a technically trained job and be a much better success in life than if they had been an infantryman in Vietnam.


Man being interviewed in a park.

Bloomington Vietnam-era Veteran Picnic story-gathering.

Community picnic in a pavilion.

The city of Bloomington and Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemorative Partners hosted a free reunion picnic July 8, 2017 at Moir Park, Bloomington. Vietnam-Era veterans and their families were invited to a picnic lunch that included a short opening ceremony with Mayor Winstead, an opportunity to connect with veteran support organizations, add a pin to a map of Southeast Asia, and record a video story to be included on the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam Story Wall.

Biographical Details

Story Subject: Military Service

Veteran Organization: City of Bloomington

Flags at a community picnic.
Military color guard with flags.

Story Themes: Bloomington, Bloomington Picnic, Combat Art, Music, Story Collection, Video

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