veterans

Fred Ptucha
KRCB/Steve Mencher

On November 9, KRCB hosts a free screening of highlights from the PBS documentary series “The Vietnam War.” As we approach that event we’ve been talking with local veterans about their lives during and after the war. Fred Ptucha served four tours in Vietnam.  In 2002, he returned there with a group of veterans to help build homes for their former enemies. He told KRCB news director Steve Mencher about that visit.

Bob Young Vietnam vet
KRCB/Steve Mencher

Bob Young talks to us about saving lives as a medical corpsman in Vietnam, and taking them too when threatened by enemy soldiers. Years after his combat duty, he found himself diving out of his bed -- as if he was once again under fire. With the help of his family, he's been able to move forward with his life, understanding his PTSD and getting it somewhat under control. Listen to his story below:

Ken Holybee
KRCB/Steve Mencher

The Vietnam War – the documentary series from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick – continues on many PBS stations Sunday night. We’re reaching out to Vietnam vets in our area to tell us about their service. Ken Holybee is President of the Santa Rosa chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America. When he talked with News Director Steve Mencher, he remembered feeling confused when he returned home from his service as a fuel truck driver.

Vietnamese woman covers face
PBS

Last week, we met local Vietnam veteran Martin Lesinski. We heard his poetry and learned about his acute sense of responsibility for men under his command. Today he tells reporter Steve Mencher about his own injuries.

Vietnam Memorial
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ken Scar

Yesterday we met Vietnam veteran Martin Lesinski  and heard a poem he wrote about coming to terms with his wartime experiences. We continue with that interview today. As a sergeant, Lesinski  felt keenly responsible for the safety of his men. As he told News Director Steve Mencher, it was a burden that grew as the war wound down in the early 1970s. A warning: some of his descriptions of battle are very graphic.

Martin Lesinski
KRCB/Steve Mencher

Vietnam is once again pushing its way into the national conversation – courtesy of an 18-hour film about the war by documentarians Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. It starts on many PBS stations on Sunday night; KRCB will be airing the entire series at a later date. The film inspired us to connect with local Vietnam veterans – including Martin Lesinski, a Nicasio-based photographer and poet.

Climbers For Peace Plan Iranian Expedition

Apr 24, 2017

Santa Rosa-based Climbers For Peace organizes and leads multi-national teams in bond-building ascents of major mountains. Their next trip will take them up the highest peak in the Middle East—assuming the government of Iran allows it.

Tiny Homes Project Nearly Ready to Begin Building

Mar 23, 2017

fter being announced last year, a project to build a dozen tiny houses for homeless vets is hoping to break ground this summer and test the viability of a novel form of affordable housing. 

Project Manager John “Yohan” Morgan says the initial residents will each be encouraged to put their personal stamp on their small new homes.

Vets with PTSD Getting Some Special Canine Companions

Nov 21, 2016

For more than 60 years, Canine Companions for Independence has been providing trained assistance dogs for people with disabilities. A pilot program now underway at their Santa Rosa headquarters is now preparing dogs specifically to work with veterans who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Randy Wright has had his Canine Companion, Neo, for four years now.  When they are out together in their hometown of Monterrey, White says he often has to correct mistake assumptions about their respective roles together.

Recalling the Siege of Khe Sanh

Oct 28, 2013

In early 1968, thousands of US troops were pinned down and bombarded for 11 weeks inside a base and airstrip in the far northwest corner of South Viet Nam. A new documentary offers first-hand accounts of that campaign from Marines who survived it.

  The location of the base at Khe Sanh, not far from the border with Laos, was isolated largely unprotected, recalls Ken Rodgers, with hurried air transports the only connection to the outside during the siege.

 

Training Veterans to Aid Salmon

May 23, 2013
California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

On remote tributaries of the Eel River , unemployed army veterans are learning new skills to benefit the local environment, and boost their standing in the job market.

The NOAA-CCC Veterans Corps pilot program is explained in fuller detail in this video produced by San Francisco filmmaker Kevin White.

  The devil is in the details when it comes to calculating benefits for veterans and other groups. So they are alarmed about a proposed change in the funding formulas they depend on. Lori Abbott takes a closer look.

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