Shelley Griffith, a Vietnam Era veteran who is a physician in Tennessee, has posted a music video of his song, “Beyond the Wall,” a tribute to Vietnam veterans, on YouTube.
Dr. Griffith is offering that song, as well as two others that also honor Vietnam veterans, on a CD to those who email him. He is hoping that the CDs will raise awareness about Vietnam veterans’ issues. The only charge is for postage. To find out more, email email@example.com
Posted on February 24th 2012 in Music
Former VVA Veteran editor Jeff Stein had an interesting article in the February 12 edition of The Washington Post Magazine. In “What Makes a Perfect Spy Tick?” Stein examines the lives of intelligence operatives in several wars. He also delves into his experiences working in Vietnam in Army intelligence during the war.
“I spent a year living undercover and running a spy net,” Stein writes. “But other than connecting briefly with a secret courier on a deserted beach every few days and slipping into decrepit hotels for meetings with my top spy, it wasn’t anything like the scenario we had been trained for, to dispatch agents into Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe from West Berlin.”
Nevertheless, Stein writes, his service in the Vietnam War “was the most interesting, and perhaps meaningful, thing I’ve ever done. The mission, to prevent or disrupt rocket attacks on [Danang] or U.S. troops, was important. The war stunk, but I wasn’t shooting at anybody, and I was good at being a spy. I won a medal and came home relatively unscarred.”
A free-lance writer, editor, and author, Stein writes the SpyTalk blog, subtitled “Intelligence for Thinking People.”
Posted on February 13th 2012 in Magazines
The play, “Gonna See a Movie Called Gunga Din,” which is running at The Bushwick Starr Theater in Brooklyn, New York, through February 11, is an amalgam of stories collected from real veterans and from scenes from Hollywood war movies voiced by a group of actors as they palaver in a VFW Hall-like setting.
Scenes that the actors act out include several from Vietnam War films such as Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, Casualties of War, Full Metal Jacket, and Born on the Fourth of July. The play, which was conceived and directed by Mark Sitko for his Van Cougar acting company, has received mixed reviews from the New York theater critics.
“The juxtaposition of these frenzied homages beside the actual veterans’ more modest reminiscences, overlaid with a variety of stage tableaus, does neither half of ‘Gunga Din’ any favors,” Eric Grode wrote in The New York Times. ”The movie scenes seem even more overwrought in this format (no mean feat in the case of ‘Casualties of War’), while the stumbling, often disjointed testimonials can try the patience by comparison.”
Miriam Felton-Dansky, writing in The Village Voice, said: “At two hours without intermission, Gunga Din would benefit from a little editing. And it sometimes batters its audience unnecessarily—one monologue, reflecting on America’s addiction to war, quickly veers into lecture mode. But as the stories accumulate, the piece implies that our society is now a kind of giant, national VFW hall, steeped in the unspoken aftermath of battle—repressed histories that shape us even while we imbibe their adrenaline-laced, idealized imitations in Hollywood-blockbuster form.”
Posted on February 1st 2012 in Drama