Vietnam

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.