Ron Osgood, a Vietnam veteran (and VVA member) who is a professor in the Telecommunications Department at Indiana University, has produced and directed a unique, powerful, high-quality, informing documentary, My Vietnam Your Iraq , which is making the rounds of the nation’s film festivals.
In it, Osgood (above, center, interviewing Vietnam veteran Arthur Barham ) turns his creative lens on a group of Vietnam veterans (both men and women who served in the Army, Marines, and Navy) whose sons or daughters served in the war in Iraq. In the main, the two generations of veterans appear by themselves on screen in their living rooms reflecting on their service and their relationships with their veteran parent or veteran son or daughter. Osgood skillfully weaves in old photos of the veterans, along with war-time news footage of both wars to make the words come even more alive.
These are average Americans, nearly all of whom speak articulately about their service and about their offspring (or parent’s) service. Not surprisingly, there is a lot of emotion, especially from the fathers when they speak of what they went through in their wars and how they dealt with their child’s serving in Iraq.
This is not a political film, although some of the parents and at least one Iraq war veteran speak passionately about their feelings about the present war, and nearly all of the Vietnam veterans weigh in on how they felt about their war. The Vietnam veterans’ thoughts about the war range along the hawk-dove spectrum, although few have anything good to say about the Vietnam War in general or about they were treated after coming home.
Osgood—who served on the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany in 1969-72, including cruises off the coast of Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin–says that his goal in the film “is to stimulate discussion that may help us better understand the emotions and anxieties families are forced to deal with.” He has succeeded perfectly. Each series of family interviews does exactly that, and does it terms every American can relate to.
For more info about the film, go to Osgood’s excellent web site.