Bridge to Vietnam | Program |

Bridge to Vietnam | Program |


>>THE COFFEE BEAN ARE EXCEPTIONAL SYMBOLIC OF A NEW DAY FAR AWAY FROM MILWAUKEE, HARVESTED FROM SOME OF THE BLOODIEST FIELDS OF THE VIETNAM WAR. THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS. IT WAS A TURBULENT TIME.>>I THINK WE JUST REALIZED WE WERE PROBABLY GOING TO DIE.>>IN THE U.S. AND INDOCHINA.>>I WENT TO RIGHT IN THE BATTLE ZONE, WHERE GUNS FIGHTING ALL OVER THE PLACE.>>A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE.>>IT TURNED ME INTO SOMEONE WHO IS GRATEFUL FOR LIFE AND I WAS MADE A PROFOUND DIFFERENCE IN ME AND I DECIDED I’M GOING TO DO SOMETHING WITH MY LIFE.>>>>40-YEAR-OLD IMAGES OF VIETNAM STILL BURN IN THE AMERICAN PSYCHE. BUT TIME MARCHES ON. FORMER ENEMIES ARE TALKING.>>HE ASKED ME, HOW DID YOU GUYS KEEP YOUR WEAPONS DRY AND STUFF LIKE THAT.>>AND BUILDING A FUTURE. DAILY LIFE IN VIETNAM IS VIBRANT, ENTERPRISING, AND WORLDLY.>>IT’S NOT THAT COUNTRY ANYMORE. IT’S NOT JUST A COUNTRY OF FARMERS, RICE FARMERS IN BLACK PAJAMAS IT’S A CONTEMPORARY DESTINATION.>>IT’S A MARKET IN THE CITY.>>THEY WONDERED WHY WE’RE DOING CERTAIN THINGS, LIKE WHY ARE WE DOING THIS, MOM.>>THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM IS COMING OF AGE. A BLENDING OF COMMUNIST HERITAGE AND CAPITALIST VISION.>>I THINK VIETNAM IS VERY FREE, AS LONG AS YOU STAY OUT OF POLITICS.>>THE WORLD IS TAKING NOTE, AS IS MILWAUKEE ITSELF, BY BUILDING A BRIDGE TO VIETNAM.>>HELLO, I’M MARK SIEGRIST. SOME BRIDGES TO VIETNAM ARE TANGIBLE MONUMENTS, OTHERS EXTEND FROM THE HUMAN SPIRIT. LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME FOR JANE BROWNE AND HER HUSBAND JEFF.>>THEY WERE 3 AND 6 MONTHS OLD. WE BROUGHT THEM HERE TO ELM GROVE.>>NOT SINCE THEIR TRIP TO HANOI BACK IN 2001.>>WE WERE READY TO PARENT TWO MORE CHILDREN AFTER RAISING TWO DAUGHTERS, AND WE WAITED 18 MONTHS FOR THE CALL TO SAY TIME TO COME OVER AND MEET THE BABIES AND FILE THE PAPERWORK THAT NEEDED TO BE FILED.>>WELL, IT WAS JUST A GREAT JOY TO GO OVER THERE AND TO MEET INFANTS WHO HAD BEEN BORN IN HANOI, WHICH WAS A CITY THAT I HAD VERY NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS.>>MEET ZACH AND JACK BROWNE TODAY. A COUPLE OF TYPICAL MILWAUKEE AREA KIDS, WHOSE INTERESTS RANGE FROM MAKING VIDEOS TO OUTDOOR SPORTS.>>WE HAVE A PLACE IN WAUWATOSA, WHERE THERE’S A LOT OF BIKE JUMPS AND WE GO THERE PRETTY OFTEN.>>HOW TYPICALLY MILWAUKEE? ABOUT A YEAR AGO, JEFF AND JANE BROWNE TOOK THEIR ADOPTED SONS BACK TO VIETNAM FOR A DEEPER CULTURAL EXPERIENCE. THE BOYS FIRST RETURNED VISITS SINCE BIRTH. IT WAS EYE-OPENING.>>IT WAS DIFFERENT BECAUSE THEY HAD DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES, EVEN IF IT WAS IN, LIKE, CITIES, IT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE THERE’S A LOT MORE PEOPLE OUTSIDE WALKING AROUND.>>BUT JACK AND ZACH ARE NO STRANGERS TO THEIR OWN HERITAGE. OVER THE YEARS, THE BROWNE FAMILY HAS STAYED WELL CONNECTED TO VIETNAMESE TRADITION.>>I THINK THAT IT HELPS THEM ACCEPT THEMSELVES MORE. THE MORE THEY CAN UNDERSTAND ABOUT THEIR CULTURE AND FOR THEM TO SEE THAT WE ARE WELCOMING OF PEOPLE THAT ARE LIKE THEM IN THEIR HOUSE, IT MAKES THEM FEEL MORE, I DON’T KNOW, AT EASE.>>REMEMBER THAT NEGATIVE FEELING THAT JEFF BROWNE SAID HE ONCE HAD FOR HANOI. WELL, THAT CHANGED QUICKLY, AFTER MEETING HIS TWO INFANT SONS FOR THE FIRST TIME.>>HOW DID THE ADOPTION OF JACK AND ZACH OPEN YOUR EYES TO THE POTENTIAL OF VIETNAM FROM A CULTURAL SENSE, ECONOMIC SENSE?>>WHEN I WENT THERE, THE FIRST THING, OTHER THAN MEET THE BOYS, AFTER I MET THE BOYS, I THOUGHT, I WANT TO INVEST IN THIS PLACE, BECAUSE THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ENERGY THERE WAS SO STRONG.>>AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT JEFF BROWNE DID. BUILDING BRIDGES TO VIETNAM IN A VARIETY OF WAYS. MICROFINANCING SMALL STARTUPS, SURFING AS A LIAISON FOR BUSINESS, CULTURE AND EDUCATION AND MORE RECENTLY, A VENTURE OF HIS OWN, TEMPLE HILLS COFFEE. GROWN AND HARVESTED IN THE VIETNAMESE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE OF CAU DAT.>>WE’RE WORKING WITH FARMERS TO HELP DEVELOP THEIR COMMUNITY AND THEIR INCOME, THROUGH THEIR CAPACITY TO GROW THE BEST QUALITY COFFEE THAT VIETNAM CAN PRODUCE.>>1700 POUNDS OF SPECIALTY BEANS, THE HIGHEST QUALITY YET, ARRIVED IN MILWAUKEE LAST SPRING.>>IT’S PROBABLY THE ONLY SPECIALTY GRADE COFFEE AVAILABLE IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE FROM VIETNAM.>>A TEMPLE HILLS PARTNER, ANODYNE COFFEE ROASTING COMPANY PROVIDES THE WAREHOUSING AS JEFF CONTINUES TO DEVELOP HIS EMERGING BUSINESS.>>WE HAVE OUR OWN BRAND AND IT’S AVAILABLE ON LINE, BUT WE’RE ALSO MAKING THE BEANS THEMSELVES AVAILABLE TO OTHER ROASTERS, SO THEY CAN OFFER IT UNDER THEIR OWN LABEL, THEIR OWN BRAND, BUT THEY ALSO CAN SELL IT TO COFFEE SHOPS AROUND THE COUNTRY.>>SO WHY IS JEFF BROWNE INVESTING IN VIETNAM’S FUTURE? IN SHORT, HE’S CONVINCED THAT VIETNAM HAS THE MAKINGS OF A GLOBAL LEADER.>>WHAT HAPPENED TO JAPAN? WELL, THEY FIGURED OUT THAT THEY COULD GROW THEIR ECONOMY BY GROWING QUALITY, BY CREATING QUALITY, AND SO IT WAS THE BEST — WHO’S GOT THE REPUTATION NOW, AS THE BEST PRODUCER OF, SAY, CERTAIN KINDS OF ELECTRONICS. IT’S JAPAN AND JAPAN GREW ITS ECONOMY AND BECAME, GREW UP ALL THE WAY TO THE SECOND LEADING ECONOMY IN THE WORLD, BY PRODUCING QUALITY. THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH VIETNAM.>>WHAT IS YOUR PASSION FOR BEING SO CONNECTED TO VIETNAM RIGHT NOW, COME FROM?>>WHERE DO I GET PASSION? I THINK IT’S, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT’S FROM COMING OF AGE. DURING THE VIETNAM WAR, AND JUST BEING PART OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SINGLE DEVELOPMENT THAT SHAPED OUR CULTURE, OUR AMERICAN CULTURE, IT STILL AFFECTS THE WAY OUR CULTURE, OUR GOVERNMENT AND OUR RELATIONSHIPS WORK. AND IT HAD TO — THE BIGGEST IMPACT OF ANY OTHER SINGLE EVENT I THINK, ON MY GENERATION AND MY — AROUND THE GENERATION THAT FOLLOWED.>>A PROFOUND IMPACT BECAME AN INTIMATE CONNECTION BY RAISING TWO KIDS FROM HANOI WITH A GLOBAL VISION OF THEIR OWN.>>WHAT DOES THE WORLD NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VIETNAM?>>WELL, IT’S A VERY BEAUTIFUL PLACE. THERE’S A LOT OF VERY COOL ARCHITECTURE AND THE GEOGRAPHY IS VERY, LIKE, INTERESTING, LIKE THERE’S A LOT OF DIFFERENT CAVES AND A LOT DIFFERENT FEATURES YOU CAN VISIT IN VIETNAM.>>WELL, HERE WE USUALLY JUST HAVE LIKE A RECTANGLE, LIKE A RECTANGULAR SHAPE FOR A BUILDING, BUT THERE IT’S LIKE WHATEVER THEY CAN FIT IN, PUT THEM ALL TOGETHER ALONG EACH OTHER AND TRY TO GET AS MUCH SPACE AS THEY CAN.>>SO URBAN LIFE IS A LOT CLOSER, THE BUILDINGS ARE A LOT CLOSER?>>YEAH.>>TAKING JACK AND ZACH BACK TO THEIR ROOTS WAS WORTH THE EFFORT. INITIALLY THE BOYS WERE ANXIOUS TO BE BACK HOME IN MILWAUKEE, BUT THE EXPERIENCE HAS LEFT A LASTING IMPRESSION.>>WHAT WAS IT LIKE BRINGING JACK AND ZACH BACK TO VIETNAM?>>IT MADE ME FEEL GOOD TO BE SHOWING THEM THEIR COUNTRY, AND TO TRY TO SHOW THEM ALL THE DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF THE COUNTRY AND NOT — NOT TRY TO COLOR IT AT ALL EITHER. SO THAT THEY COULD FORM THEIR OWN OPINIONS.>>I SAW A LOT OF DIFFERENT CROPS THAT WISCONSIN DOESN’T, LIKE, GROW, LIKE WISCONSIN DOESN’T REALLY GROW SUGAR CANE, LIKE VIETNAM GROWS SUGAR CANE.>>SUGAR CANE IS A BIG CROP?>>IT TAKES A LOT MORE WORK TO DO SOMETHING THAN HERE, BECAUSE IT’S A NORMAL LIFE, LIKE YOU CAN GET FOOD FROM YOUR FRIDGE, BUT THERE YOU HAVE TO — FOR THE FARMERS, IT TAKES TIME, LIKE, OUT OF THEIR, LIKE THAT’S THEIR JOB TO GET FOOD AND SELL IT AND LIVE A LIFE.>>THEY’RE JUST TREMENDOUSLY CURIOUS AND WONDERFUL AMERICAN VIETNAMESE BOYS, AND IT’S A GREAT JOY, IT’S A GREAT JOY OF MY LIFE TO BE THEIR FATHER.>>FOR SURVIVORS OF THE VIETNAM WAR, AND THE GREATER WAR IN INDOCHINA, HEALING AND RECONCILIATION OCCUR IN DIFFERENT WAYS. CHUCK THEUSCH IS COMPLETING A MISSION, REVEREND RAY STUBBE REMAINS SPIRITUALLY CONNECTED. XIA VUE YANG REMAINS CONNECTED. CHUCK THEUSCH A MILWAUKEE ATTORNEY AND U.S. ARMY COMBAT VETERAN BRIEFLY THOUGHT ABOUT BUILDING A BRIDGE, HE OPTED FOR SOMETHING EVEN BIGGER, THAT WAS BACK IN 1999. HE WAS VISITING THE TOWN OF DUC PHO IN THE CENTRAL PROVINCE OF CHIEF — KHE SANH. DURING THE WAR, VUE WAS THE VIET CONG LEADER WHERE CHUCK THEUSCH WAS SERVING.>>WHAT DID YOU BOTH TALK ABOUT?>>WE TALKED ABOUT HOW YOU KEPT YOUR WEAPONS DRY, HOW WE GET SICK, THE DAMN MOSQUITOES, WE TALKED ABOUT HUMAN THINGS THAT EVERYBODY STUCK WITH, IF YOU’RE GOING TO FIGHT A WAR IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. AND WE HAD QUITE AN EXCHANGE.>>THE CONVERSATION THEN TURNED TO LOCAL NEEDS. PLACING WASHED OUT BRIDGES AND CHILDREN’S LITERACY, THAT’S WITH CHILDREN’S LIBRARY INTERNATIONAL WAS BORN. THE TOWN OF DUC PHO, DEDICATED ITS LIBRARY IN 2001. SINCE THEN, CHUCK THEUSCH’S INITIATIVE HAS SPREAD TO MORE THAN 30 SITES IN THE REGION, MOSTLY IN VIETNAM ITSELF WHERE EDUCATION IS CHANGING.>>BUT THAT CHANGE INVOLVES OPENING THE KIDS’ MIND TO CREATIVE THINKING, TO MAKE IT COMPETITIVE IN A WORLD THAT LOOKS FOR CREATIVE THINKERS. AND VIETNAM IS HISTORIC FOR HAVING STRONG WORLD THINKERS, THEY’LL MEMORIZE WHAT THEY’RE TOLD AND MEMORIZE WITH A GREAT DISCIPLINE AND GREAT APLUMB AND THAT’S IMPORTANT, THEY SHOULDN’T GIVE THAT UP, BUT TO ASK THEM TO GO BEYOND AND TO ENGAGE IF CREATIVE THOUGHT PROCESSES FOR PROBLEM SOLVING AND SO ON, THAT’S KIND OF NEW, AND THAT’S THE MAJOR DEVELOPMENT THAT’S BEEN INTRIGUING FOR US.>>CHUCK THEUSCH ISN’T DONE YET. CHILDREN’S LIBRARY INTERNATIONAL IS STILL GROWING. AND HE’S UP FOR THE TASK. BRINGING REMARKABLE ENERGY TO THE CAUSE. FROM PLANNING TO CONSTRUCTION AND FINDING THE FUNDING.>>WHY IS YOUR HUMANITARIAN OUTREACH ESPECIALLY IN VIETNAM, SO IMPORTANT TO YOU?>>PEOPLE ASK ME, YOU KNOW, YOU GO OVER THERE BECAUSE YOU FEEL GUILTY. AND THAT’S SOMEBODY THAT DOESN’T UNDERSTAND ME AT ALL BECAUSE THE REASON I’M THERE IS BECAUSE I’M AN AMERICAN AND THIS IS WHAT AMERICANS DO. THE MARSHAL PLAN AFTER WORLD WAR II, THE PROPOSAL OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS AFTER WORLD WAR I, ALBEIT DEFEATED BY PRESIDENT WILSON, GOING BACK TO THE FIRST — AFTER THE CIVIL WAR, THE CIVIL WAR BENEFITS BEING PAID TO SOLDIERS FROM THE SOUTH, IT’S NOT NEW FOR AMERICANS TO SHOW UP AFTER A WAR AND TRY TO HEAL THE WOUNDS OF THE FALLEN COMRADES ON BOTH SIDES.>>TWO FORMER ENEMIES IN THE VIETNAM WAR WERE KEEPING THEIR WEAPONS DRY FOR A REASON. SURVIVAL. BUT THAT WASN’T ENOUGH. THEY BOTH WANTED A MUCH YOUNGER GENERATION TO BE BETTER SERVED. WITH BOOKS AND COMPUTERS AND A BRIGHTER FUTURE. FORMER NAVY CHAPLAIN RAY STUBBE CARRIES THE MEMORY OF THE VIETNAM WAR IN HIS HEART AND IN HIS SOUL. HE’LL NEVER FORGET THE GUYS AND HE STILL STAYS IF TOUCH WITH MANY OF THEM TODAY.>>VIETNAM FOR ME IS THE YOUNG 19, 20-YEAR-OLDS WHO I GOT TO KNOW WHO ARE PROBABLY AS A GROUP, THE BEST PEOPLE THAT I’VE EVER KNOWN IN MY WHOLE LIFE.>>MINISTERING TO THE MARINES DURING THE BATTLE OF KHE SANH WAS AS TOUGH AS IT GETS, THE FIGHTING WAS INTENSE AND LASTED FOR MONTHS. CASUALTIES WERE AMONG THE HIGHEST OF THE WAR. THE WALL OF HIS WAUWATOSA STUDY HELP TELL THE STORY. REVEREND STUBBE WAS OBVIOUSLY CHALLENGED TO ESTABLISH FAITH UNDER FIRE, BUT IT WAS THE MEN HE WAS SERVING WHO OFTEN INSPIRED HIM.>>WHAT KIND OF SELFLESS ACTS TO YOU REMEMBER WITNESSING?>>THESE ARE PEOPLE THAT WOULD GIVE THEIR LAST DROPS OF WATER, LAST BITS OF BREAD AND DASH OUT DURING INCOMING, JUST TO PULL SOMEBODY BACK TO SAFETY. FIRST OF ALL, EVERYONE BECOMES NUMB. YOU DON’T — I THINK IT’S JUST A HUMAN WAY OF SHUTTING DOWN EMOTIONS SO THAT YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO SURVIVE.>>REVEREND STUBBE REGARDS SELFLESS ACTS OF COURAGE LIKE THAT AS HIGHLY SPIRITUAL. THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN A MOMENT OF CRISIS. IN FACT, MANY OF THE MEN STUBBE KNEW IN BATTLE HAVE GONE ON TO PURSUE HIGHER CALLINGS OF THEIR OWN.>>OF THOSE WHO I KNOW OF THAT WERE THERE, AT LEAST TWO DOZEN LATER BECAME MINISTERS AND PRIESTS AND I’VE TALKED WITH THEM AND THEY ALL SAID THAT EVEN IN THAT HORROR AND THAT DARKNESS AND THAT TERROR AND BLEAKNESS OF EVERYTHING, THEY FELT THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN US AND THAT’S WHAT CAUSED THEM TO BECOME MINISTERS AND PRIESTS. THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED THROUGH THE DARKER ASPECTS OF THE HUMAN LIFE ARE PROBABLY IN A BETTER POSITION TO BE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE WITH THE PEOPLE TODAY.>>THE BATTLE OF KHE SANH WAS BLEAK, BUT ME FOUND MEMORIES OF HOPE, THE MEMORIES OF WHICH STILL KINDLE THEIR HEALING TODAY. THIS LOCAL MARKET IN SHEBOYGAN, WISCONSIN, COULD EASILY BE OVERLOOKED IN THE BUSY TRAFFIC, BUT IT TOO IS A VERY MEANINGFUL BRIDGE TO ANOTHER TIME AND ANOTHER PLACE. THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO DESCRIBE THE KEEPER OF THIS STORE, FASCINATING IS ONE OF THEM. XIA VUE YANG IS A GLOBAL CITIZEN, RENAISSANCE MAN AND A HUMANITARIAN. RUNNING AN ETHNIC MARKET LARGELY FOR SHEBOYGAN’S HMONG COMMUNITY IS ONE OF HIS MANY INTERESTS. HE TAKES GREAT PLEASURE IN STOCKING FAVORITE FOODS AND PROVIDING HELPFUL INFORMATION. IN THE EARLY DAYS, HE OFTEN HELPED NEW CUSTOMERS BETTER UNDERSTAND AMERICAN CURRENCY.>>SO WE KIND OF, LIKE, GET US A STORE TOGETHER, WE STOCK FOOD, THEY COME, ME CAN SPEAK HMONG, LAO AND WE GET THEM TO CHANGE AND WE KIND OF SPEAK LIKE THAT.>>SO YOUR STORE IS MORE THAN A MARKETPLACE, IT REALLY IS A GATHERING PLACE, A SPECIAL GATHERING PLACE?>>NO, IT IS ALMOST LIKE THAT. AND KEEPING PEOPLE TOGETHER, AND THEY — WHEN THEY COME TO THE STORE, WE AS STORE OWNER, WE SPEAK HMONG TO THEM, THEY FEEL GOOD. SO IT’S SELF-HELP GROWTH, GOING LIKE THAT.>>BEFORE LAUNCHING HIS GROCERY BUSINESS IN 1982, VUE YANG WAS EDUCATED AS A ENGINEER. HE IS ALSO THE SURVIVOR OF THE SECRET WAR IN LOOS, SECRET WAR WAS PART OF THE GREATER INDOCHINA CONFLICT DURING THE VIETNAM ERA. HIS FATHER, COLONEL YONG CHUE YANG WAS A COLONEL COMMANDER IN THE ARMY. THEY FREQUENTLY RESCUED DOWNED AMERICAN PILOTS AND WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN DISRUPTING THE NORTH VIETNAMESE LINE ALONG THE HO CHI MINH TRAIL. HE KNEW THE DANGER WELL. FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN THE MILITARY WOULD TAKE HIM ON PATROL OR INVITE HIM ON A FLIGHT MISSION.>>WAR IS NOT HAPPY THINGS. WAR IS NASTY, AND A LOT OF MY FRIENDS, MY AGE, THEY WERE KILLED.>>YOU WANTED TO UNDERSTAND.>>RIGHT. YES. THAT’S RIGHT.>>VUE YANG HAS NEVER FORGOTTEN WHAT HE WITNESSED, THAT’S WHY IN RECENT YEARS, HE TOOK ON ANOTHER INITIATIVE — TEAMING UP WITH CHUCK THEUSCH TO BUILD A LIBRARY IN LOOS, HIS NATIVE HOME.>>VUE YANG TOOK THE BULL BY THE HORNS IN 2010 AND WE DID BUILD IT AND NOW I DO HAVE A LIBRARY IN NONG HET.>>A LOT OF KIDS, THEY WANT TO LEARN ENGLISH, BECAUSE WHEN SOMEBODY SPEAKS ENGLISH, IT’S JOBS, IT’S MONEY, IT’S SOMETHING THAT THEY CAN GET ON THEIR BOUNDARIES. WHEN I GREW UP, I GREW UP BAREFOOT, NO SCHOOL, NO PLACE. IF I CAN CHANGE JUST THE LITTLE THINGS, I WOULD DO IT AND THAT’S THE LIBRARY.>>VUE YANG HAS LONG BEEN A LEADER IN SHEBOYGAN’S HMONG COMMUNITY, HELPING FAMILIES RESETTLE. HE ALSO STARTED A LOCAL RADIO PROGRAM TO KEEP FAMILIES INFORMED AND CONNECTED. BUT PERHAPS VUE IS BEST KNOWN FOR LEADING A MAJOR CIVIC PROJECT TO HONOR THOSE WHO SERVED DURING THE SECRET WAR IN LAOS, THE MEMORIAL GRACES SHEBOYGAN’S LAKEFRONT WITH SIMPLICITY, ELEGANCE AND CHARACTER. THE SITE IS A TRIBUTE TO SERVICE. IT’S ALSO AN HISTORIC NARRATIVE ABOUT THE HMONG CULTURE. MUCH OF THAT NARRATIVE IS DEPICTED BY CHILDREN’S MOSAICS.>>THIS IS AN EDUCATIONAL PEELS OF WORK. TRY TO TEACH PEOPLE, THE YOUNGER GENERATION, WHY, WHEN, AND HOW THE HMONG CAME TO SHEBOYGAN, AND THE UNITED STATES.>>BUT DESPITE THE VISUAL APPEAL, WHAT MATTERS MOST TO VUE YANG IS HOW IT MAKES HIM FEEL.>>I FEEL PEOPLE ALL OVER THE FRIENDS, THE MOTHERS, THE FATHERS, THEY ARE ALL IN THERE. YOU CANNOT SEE THEM, BUT THEY ARE ALL IN THERE.>>IN SPIRIT.>>IN SPIRIT. YES.>>I WENT TO VIETNAM BECAUSE I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING, WANTED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I WANTED TO BE A LEADER, I WANTED TO BE BRAVE.>>THE VIETNAM WAR WAS A LIFE-CHANGER FOR ROGER QUINDEL, AND HE’S KNOWN AS AN ELECTED LEADER, ACTIVIST AND COACH. HE’S LED A LIFE OF SERVICE WITH AN ENGAGING PERSONALITY. AS A VETERAN, ROGER HAS NEVER MADE A SECRET OF HIS LIST DIKING FOR THE WAR, BUT WRITING FOR THE VETERANS BOOK PROJECT HAS HELPED HIM GO DEEP.>>MY STORY IS ABOUT TRANSFORMATION, THAT THE WAR WASN’T THE WAY I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE, AND THE LEADERSHIP WASN’T WHAT I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE. THE PURPOSE AND HOW YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN ENEMY AND FRIENDS WASN’T AT ALL WHAT I THOUGHT, BUT DESPITE ALL OF THE UGLINESS AND THE BRUTALITY OF WAR, IT TRANSFORMED ME AND THAT’S THE GOOD PART AT LEAST FOR ME.>>WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST ABOUT THE WAR EXPERIENCE?>>YOU KNOW, PEOPLE DIEING AROUND YOU, PEOPLE CRYING IN AGONY, I SAW 1 STATE OF WISCONSIN BURNED TO DEATH, — I SAW SOMEONE JUST BURNED TO DEATH, LIKE RIGHT NEXT TO ME, SOMETIMES THEY’RE ACCIDENTS, SOMETIMES THINGS HAPPEN. PEOPLE BEING BRUTAL.>>ROGER HAD A BRUSH WITH DEATH HIMSELF, A SEVERE HEAD INJURY FROM SHRAPNEL. THIS IS WHAT WAS LEFT OF ONE OF THE TWO ROCKETS. THE EXPLOSION KILLED NINE PEOPLE, AND PUT ROGER IN THE HOSPITAL. HE STILL LIVES WITH METAL FRAGMENTS IN HIS HEAD TODAY.>>I HAD EIGHT FACIAL FRACTURES, I LOST ABOUT 16 SQUARE INCHES OF MY SCALP, SO I ACTUALLY LOOKED PRETTY GOOD, BECAUSE I HAD A FACE LIFT AT 21. I MEAN, THEY HAD TO DO A LOT OF REPAIR WORK.>>11 WEEKS IN THE HOSPITAL GAVE ROGER QUINDEL PLENTY OF TIME TO THINK, TO REASSESS HIS LIFE, AND HIS MISSION.>>BECAUSE WITH I WENT TO THE HOSPITAL, I’M THERE IN JAPAN AND I WATCH MARTIN LUTHER KING, SEE IT ON TV, MARTIN LUTHER KING GETS ASSASSINATED AND KILLED, AND AMERICAN CITIES, INCLUDING MILWAUKEE BURNING. AND I’M IN A JAPANESE HOSPITAL, YOU KNOW, TRYING TO GIVE SOMEONE ELSE FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY, THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE TELLING ME, I’M GOING, MAN, WHAT ARE WE DOING?>>I GOT THROUGH ALL THAT AND WHAT I LEARNED FROM IT IS BASICALLY WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU A STRONGER PERSON. I’M ALIVE, I GOT TO LIVE A LIFE, SO THAT’S WHAT I GOT TO LEARN FROM THIS, THAT LIFE IS PRECIOUS AND YOU GOT TO LIVE ONE AND OTHER PEOPLE YOU KNOW DIDN’T.>>IN 1983, ROGER RETURNED TO VIETNAM, THIS TIME TO ATTEND AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WARFARE. IT WAS AN INTERESTING REUNION. HIS GUIDE, POSING ON THE LEFT, WAS A VETERAN OF THE NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY.>>MY GUIDE, TURNS OUT, WE WERE TALKING, AND ONE OF THE TWO GUIDES AND INTERPRETERS AND HE HAD SERVED BASICALLY IN THE SAME AREA, IN THE SAME TIME. I DON’T KNOW, WE FOUGHT EACH OTHER, BUT WE WERE CERTAINLY THERE, BUT FOR US, WE WERE JUST SOLDIERS, DOING OUR JOB.>>SOME BRIDGES TO VIETNAM EVEN HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY BACK HOME.>>THIS COLOR IS SO MUCH BETTER HERE THAN IT WAS.>>FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER LARRY D’ATTILIO HAS AN EYE FOR VIETNAM. HE’S BEEN CAPTURING ITS DAILY RHYTHM FOR NEARLY A DECADE.>>WELL, I THINK THE BEST WAY FOR ME TO EXPLAIN IT IS IT’S A VERY HIT REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST THUS TYPE OF A SITUATION, THAT IS TO SAY, THERE’S A GREAT MORE DEAL OF VARIETY IN THE APPEARANCE OF THINGS, IN THE TYPES OF RELATIONSHIPS THAT PEOPLE HAVE BETWEEN EACH OTHER AS WELL AS WITH THEIR LAND AND WITH THEIR STYLE OF LIFE.>>WHEN YOU LOOK THROUGH YOUR CAMERA LENS AT VIETNAM, WHAT DO YOU SEE AND WHAT DO YOU CAPTURE?>>WELL, I THINK CERTAINLY PEOPLE. I HAVE TO START WITH PEOPLE. THE PEOPLE, LIKE FOR ME, ARE VERY WARM AND OPEN, UNUSUALLY SO, MORE THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY I VISITED AND I THINK I’VE PROBABLY BEEN TO 20 COUNTRIES NOW, BUT THEY ARE VERY OPEN AND VERY NONJUDGMENTAL, AND SO YOU NEVER FEEL THAT YOU’RE REALLY A PART FROM THAT. AS SOON AS YOU BEGIN THE CONVERSATION, THEY RIGHT AWAY SEEM TO DRAW YOU IN AND MAKE YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE NOW COLLABORATING WITH THEM IN A WAY THAT’S VERY HUMAN.>>LARRY D’ATTILIO WANTS OUTSIDERS, ESPECIALLY AMERICANS, TO KNOW TODAY’S VIETNAM, TO LET GO OF IMAGES FROM THE PAST.>>I THINK THAT THIS SENSE OF LOSS THAT AMERICANS FEEL FROM THE WAR, BOTH IN TERMS OF NOT WINNING SOMETHING AND ALSO THE DAMAGE DONE TO OUR OWN PEOPLE IS VERY, VERY DIFFICULT FOR US TO LET GO OF.>>SO HE FOCUSES HIS CAMERA ON THE BREADTH OF VIETNAM, FROM URBAN GROWTH TO THE CHANGING ROLES OF WOMEN.>>YOUNGER WOMEN WHO WERE IN THEIR 20’S, WHO WERE UNIVERSITY ED KATEED TYPICALLY COME FROM MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES AND HAVE WORLDLY AMBITIONS FIND THEMSELVES IN A VERY STRONG SET OF CONFLICTS WITH THE TRADITIONAL CULTURAL EXTORTIONS WHICH INCLUDE LET’S GET MARRIED AND HAVE BABIES RIGHT AWAY.>>D’ATTILIO IS JUST AS INTRIGUED BY REAL LIFE, THE LANDSCAPE, CULTURE, AND GLOBAL CONNECTIONS.>>THEY’RE VERY AWARE OF WHAT WE DO AND THEY ASPIRE TO SOME OF THE SAME BENEFITS THAT WE HAVE IN OUR CULTURE. SO IN THAT SENSE, IT’S A VERY CONTEMPORARY MODERN SOCIETY AND I DON’T REALLY THINK WESTERN PEOPLE REALIZE HOW TRUE THAT IS.>>LARRY D’ATTILIO IS BUILDING HIS BRIDGE TO VIETNAM ONE FRAME AT A TIME. ONE OF THOSE BRIDGES EXTENDS FROM THE MILWAUKEE CAMPUS OF ALVERNO COLLEGE. POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR RUSSELL BROOKER KNOWS VIETNAM PRETTY WELL HIMSELF.>>THE CITIES ARE GETTING VERY LARGE AND THE DISPARITY IN WEALTH IS VERY GREAT.>>FROM ITS ANCIENT CULTURE –>>I THINK VIETNAM WAS PERFECTLY FINE, BEING VIETNAM, AND NOW IT’S BECOMING MUCH MORE AMERICAN.>>TO THE POLITICAL CLIMATE.>>TO A GREAT EXTENT, THE COMMUNIST PARTY HAS DONE WONDERFUL THINGS, AND THAT IS IT’S KEPT ORDER, WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT, AND IT HAS ALLOWED THE ECONOMY TO EXPAND DRAMATICALLY.>>AND THE REALITY OF MARKET SOCIALISM.>>BALLS OF THE POWER OF THE COMMUNIST — BECAUSE OF THE POWER OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY, THE AREA IS NOT ALLOWED TO DEVELOP AS IT SHOULD, BECAUSE THE COMMUNIST HIERARCHY CONTROLS A LOT OF BUSINESSES AND BECAUSE OF THAT, ITS GROWTH IS LESS THAN IT WOULD BE AND THE WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE IS LESS THAN IT WOULD BE OTHERWISE.>>DR. BROOKER HAS TAUGHT COURSES IN VIETNAM ON AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. HE’S ALSO LED HIS STUDENTS ON FREQUENT VISITS. ONE OF HIS FAVORITE PHOTOS WAS TAKEN BY A STUDENT OF THIS WOMAN.>>AT THIS POINT IN TIME, WE HAVE TRADITIONAL VIETNAM, LINGERING ON WITH THE WOMAN SELLING HER WARES AT THE MARKET. AND THEN WE HAVE THE NEW 21st 21st CENTURY WORLD IN THE FORM OF A CELLPHONE. I THINK THE FUTURE OF VIETNAM IS ONE OF GREAT ECONOMIC GROWTH FOLLOWED BY POLITICAL INSTABILITY CAUSED BY THAT GREAT GROWTH IN THE INEQUALITY AND WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN, I DON’T KNOW.>>THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM IS REDEFINING ITS ROLE AS A GLOBAL CITIZEN. A FORMER ENEMY NATION IS ASSISTING IN THAT EFFORT. BUILDING A POST-WAR BRIDGE DOESN’T COME EASILY. IT TAKES TIME.>>SOME OF THOSE BRIDGES EVEN EXTEND FROM MILWAUKEE ITSELF. THROUGH FAMILY, EDUCATION, ENTERPRISE, AND HEALING.

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