“Japan R&R: 1969″ is the name of the new exhibit opening on Saturday, May 29, at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago (formerly known as the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum).
Every Vietnam veteran knows what the exhibit’s title means. For you civilians, the Pentagon, in its wisdom, gave those of us who took part in that war a five-to-seven day break, called R&R (“rest and relaxation”). We were flown to exotic getaways to get away from the war, including Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Bangkok, and Kuala Lampur.
The exhibit includes some in-country combat photos, but most illuminate what GI’s did on R&R in Japan. Japan R&R, which is sponsored in part by Jerry Kylisz and Jennifer Komorowski, runs through November 1 at the museum (above), which is located 1801 S. Indiana Avenue. There will be an artists’ reception at the Opening from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $10, but is free to museum members and active duty military and dependents. For more info, go to the NVAM’s web site.
Posted on May 25th 2010 in Art Exhibits, Photography
Planning for the official Texas state Vietnam Veterans Memorial has been going on since 2005 when the Texas Legislature authorized a monument on the grounds of the State Capitol in Austin to honor the Lone Star State’s some 500,000 men and women who served in the Vietnam War.
The granite and bronze monument (above), which was designed by the sculptor Duke Sundt, is expected to be dedicated early in 2012. It is being funded solely through private donations under the aegis of the Texas Capitol Vietnam War Monument Committees.
The latest news is that the committees have just released a redesigned and re-focused website for the monument. It contains a link for donations, which are tax deductible.
Posted on May 18th 2010 in Memorials
Way back in 1983 WGBH, the Boston PBS station, produced the ambitious, acclaimed 13-hour documentry, Vietnam: A Television History, an in-depth look at Vietnam’s wars based on Stanley Karnow’s best-selling book, Vietnam: A History.
Now comes the ultimate bonus material: “The Vietnam Collection,” an on-line video archive that contains most of the materials gathered and created for the 1983 series, as well as additional Vietnam War-related material from WGBH’s archives. That includes all the interviews (with people such as Gen. William Westmoreland, North Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, CBS News correspondent Walter Cronkite), news stories, still photographs and original footage.
It’s all there on the website.
Posted on May 16th 2010 in Archives, Documentaries, On TV
On May 5, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences—the folks who give out the Emmys—held a different kind of awards banquet at the Beverly Hills Hotel in La La Land: one that honored “television with a conscience.”
Among the eight shows honored at this third annual event: HBO’s exceptional film Taking Chance, which told the true story of Marine Corps Captain Mike Strobl escorting the body of Marine Corporal Chance Phelps, who was killed in Iraq, from Dover Air Force Base to Chance’s home in Wyoming.
“This is about the television community and the people who work in it putting their heart and soul into their work,” Academy Chairman and CEO John Shaffner said. “None of these stories would be told if someone didn’t say, ‘I have to do this.’”
That certainly was the case with Taking Chance. Strobl, who co-wrote the screenplay, received the VVA President’s Award for Excellence in the Arts at the 2009 National Convention in Louisville.
For more info on the awards go to the Academy’s website.
Posted on May 7th 2010 in Feature Films
The state of Wisconsin is rolling out the red carpet for Vietnam veterans the weekend before Memorial Day with a three-day event known as LZ Lambeau. The sponsors are the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, and Wisconsin Public Television, along with a slew of veterans’ organizations including Vietnam Veterans of America’s Wisconsin State Council.
The event includes a motorcycle rally from La Crosse to Green Bay on Friday, May 21; the opening of Back in the World, an exhibit by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum; a Vietnam-era military vehicle exhibit; music and other performances; and the arrival of a Vietnam War era Huey helicopter.
Things get started on Thursday May 20, at 1:00 p.m., when the event opens to the public at Lambeau Field, the famed “frozen tundra,” the home of the NFL Green Bay Packers. That will be followed at 4:00 that afternoon with the dedication of The Moving Wall™. The music stage starts at 3:00.
Saturday’s events include an aircraft exhibit at Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay; a series of lectures beginning at 11:00 a.m.; music from noon to 6:00 p.m; a 7:30 p.m. Tribute Ceremony; and more music till 11:00.
The Sunday events include music at 12:30 by Vietnam veteran Lem Genovese and a “Wiping of the Tears” Ceremony at the Oneida National Veterans Memorial Wall at 3:30 p.m. The weekend is open to all veterans. For more info go to the LZ Lambeau web site.
Posted on May 4th 2010 in Events, Music