Vietnam Veterans of America Visit FHN History and Drama Classes [Story+Photo Gallery]


Credit to Chase Meyer

U.S. Army veteran Ron Morrow answers questions from students about his experiences in Vietnam, along with some of the equipment set in front of him. The veteran is part of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 458 based out of St. Peters. The goal of the organization is to educate younger generations as to why serving the country is an important step in protecting the society citizens enjoy in the present day.

Ninth grade history classes, along with drama students, filed into the FHN auditorium on April 28, greeted by the sight of U.S. military veterans lining the area just in front of the stage, surrounded by equipment, artillery and other miscellaneous items used overseas during the Vietnam War. The students were set for an hour filled with recollections of war memories both happy and sad, humorous moments and time to ask any question they’d like the former members of the U.S. armed forces to answer.

“It’s not being taught in the history books like it should be,” Marine gunner and vehicle technician Bob Blake said. “What’s in the history books has been twisted for someone’s agenda. It’s through truthful experiences that student can get a little bit of a truthful idea of what happened over there.”

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Veterans of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force are part of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 458, based out of St. Peters. The organization works to educate the community on the contributions U.S. service members make to the country, along with providing a group that veterans can socialize with.

Sixteen veterans were present at the event to show students how they lived life while deployed in Vietnam. While a nurse answered questions, a Purple Heart recipient showed students what kind of weapons the Vietcong used against the U.S.

“The weapons of war you see on TV that can destroy a Jeep or tank, can you imagine what that would do to a human body?” Specialist Fifth Class and operating room technician Mike Brown said.

The chapter focuses on bringing its display of memorabilia to schools but also participates in other local events such as serving as a color guard for events along with chaperoning the St. Louis Honor Flights that leave from St. Louis-Lambert Airport a couple times a week.

“First of all, freedom isn’t free,” Blake said. “It would behoove every student to read the [U.S.] Constitution, the Oath of Service and the Oath of Citizenship just to get an idea of what we were doing and why. It’ll open up a lot of minds.”