Vietnam

Here is who to listen for on WORLD CAFÉ this week: 

Monday, March 26th – Rick Springfield 

In 1981 Rick Springfield hit it huge with Jessie's Girl. But did you know he's released 18 albums since then, including his latest - The Snake King, which has songs about Rick's lifelong battle with depression. We'll talk about that, Rick's time entertaining troops in Vietnam and he'll perform live.   

Tuesday, March 27th – Jessica Lea Mayfield  

Today – the third and final part of our conversation with Army nurse Kate O’Hare-Palmer. She went from denying the trauma of her Vietnam experience to becoming an activist, fighting for women veterans from her time and ours, as she told news director Steve Mencher.

Kate O'Hare-Palmer
Kate O'Hare-Palmer

Last week we heard from former Army nurse Kate O’Hare-Palmer as part of our series of interviews with local Vietnam-era veterans. We heard how she saw intense action 50 years ago in two army field hospitals.

Today, she continues her conversation with KRCB news director Steve Mencher. She says that a book by a nurse who’d served in Vietnam convinced her that women, as well as men, came home transformed by their wartime experiences.

Read about the book Home Before Morning, by Lynda Van Devanter.

Last month, KRCB presented Lynn Novick and Ken Burns’ revealing history of the war in Vietnam. We also interviewed a number of veterans about their experiences. Today, we add one more veteran to that list.

Kate O’Hare-Palmer is a nurse who served in Vietnam 50 years ago. She’s chair of the Women Veterans Committee of the Vietnam Veterans of America and has become a leader in fighting for the rights of women who served in the military.

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.