VVA Chapter 416 Vice President Ron Becker spoke to an AP literature class at Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham, Ala. about his experiences in the Vietnam War on December 7th.
Becker spoke at the invitation of teacher Melissa Dixon. Her five classes had just completed the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.
Becker served for one year in Thailand, and one year in Vietnam. Hearing about his experiences made the required reading assignment come alive for the students.
During his presentation, Becker brought a flak vest, helmet and boots and explained how the equipment felt to carry and how it was used in the field.
He referenced parts of the book and related it to what he carried to Vietnam mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
During his presentation, he also discussed more recent issues such as working through PTSD. Something that has helped him with the transition to civilian life has been his involvement with VVA. Having the opportunity to talk about Vietnam with people who can commiserate has been a personal benefit to Becker.
He also discussed ways that VVA is helping today’s armed forces. A student in one of the classes with plans to join the military post-graduation found the Vietnam veteran’s presentation very insightful.