Thursday, October 12, 2017

Vietnam. Part 2

I want to begin by saying I realize some don't want to relive this era, but since I didn't really remember it, since I'm working in my 7 Continents altered book, the area had to come up sometime.  I could make scrapbook like pages, or I could make pages that are poignant and thought provoking.  I decided to do both.

My no-name friends gave me eight names of Vietnam veterans to speak to.  I provided each with a questionnaire, assuring them their names would not be mentioned.  I also explained I didn't want to know about their units, only what branch of the service they were attached to.

I asked for their year of birth, to put their dates of service into perspective.  I also asked what year they went to Vietnam, and where they were stationed.  I also asked if they enlisted or were drafted.  Then I asked for some personal feelings on or things they remember about the war.  So far I have heard from three vets.

Please note: the stories I created are in my words based entirely on what I was told. The letter I created below is just a way to introduce a few things I couldn't in the rest of the story.  Please remember, all names are fictitious.

Because this affects how I feel in my heart and soul, I'm adding it to Elke's theme, Landscapes of the Soul at Art Journal Journey. 

This is the story of "Barry."  He was in the special forces and was an advisor in Vietnam before the Marines arrived later (1965).  Barry was engaged when he went to Vietnam.  From talking with him, what he remembered when he got home was not what others I talked to felt.  It could be because of his age and time of service.

Although Barry had doubts about the war when he returned home, he stayed with his unit and served his country for twenty years.

Barry told me he liked the energy and beauty of Saigon and hated to see the carnage there as it was being overtaken (at the end of the war).  He thought his mother and fiance would have liked the architecture.

This is Barry's faux girlfriend.  I found this photo in my stash (one I had purchased in a batch at a garage sale), but it had a girl's name in the upper left corner, so I had to hide it under the picture of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).

Apparently some of the beautiful French architecture survived as is shown in this modern day image taken from a travel magazine.

I bought a four-pack of "special forces" dog tags years ago, and it prompted this set of pages for my altered book.

Materials include a sheet of heavy card stock I covered with a sheet of deli paper.  I added the computer generated text, a faux fiance, a picture from a travel magazine, faux dog tags, and a dried flower.

17 thoughtful remarks:

My name is Erika. said...

Now that is a poignant page. You were really smart to get some first hand info. That really makes the page more personalized and heartfelt. It's a tough subject for many, but now Vietnam has become a tourist destination. I wonder how those who served feel about that, and if they'd go back. Great page. Great post. Hugs-Erika

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I love that you have used this personalized material for your page and put other fitting things to it- so well done- really a touching page - I love it.
Thank you for this thought provoking entry to the Inner Landscape collection dear Elizabeth!
Happy rest of your day!
oxo Susi

Sami said...

A really beautiful page Elizabeth. So nice that you managed to get some of the war veterans to tell you their war story.
Wars are always devastating to the countries at war and to the people living in those countries and fighting those wars.

Divers and Sundry said...

This is a fascinating way to bring individual stories to life. I remember it all on the news and am not watching the current TV presentation.

Let's Art Journal said...

Such a heartfelt and touching page - beautifully created 😀. Hope you are having a lovely week, enjoy! J 😊

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I just saw that it isn't linked to the AJJ collectin yet and added it - hope that' o.k.
oxo Susi

Valerie-Jael said...

A very informative and touching page. Thanks for sharing, hugs, Valerie

Jeanie said...

This is wonderful, Elizabeth. I can't imagine how grateful the vets are that someone has asked and is interested in their experience and that they care. And then to translate this to art. Bravo.

geistige_Schritte said...

really a touching side - their work the so personal material used. I find this very good, to know how it was before.
Thank you for these thoughtful scenes in the soul landscape at AJJ link!
Happy evening!

Sandra Cox said...

I love this. It's a lovely tribute to the servicemen who were stationed in Vietnam.

Meggymay said...

This is a very moving page and so personal to read Barry's memories of the conflict years.
The pieces you added to to with the text were well found and touching.
Yvonne xx

Lowcarb team member said...

This was just so good ... moving, poignant, beautiful and most special.

All the best Jan

Rita said...

Was a sad and stressful time. Hearing from people who lived through it--wow!

CJ Kennedy said...

Interesting story. Wonder if Barry and his fiancee married?

Cindy McMath said...

Elizabeth, Iliked your treatment of the subject matter here - telling it as a story in your own words made it come to life.

craftytrog said...

A very moving page Elizabeth. I only really know about the war from seeing films on the subject. My daughter will be visiting Vietnam on her gap year travels in 2018, and is also doing some volunteer work there.

Pamela Gerard said...

What an interesting project. My husband & I just had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant here in SF and we talking about the war so this is very timely for me. The restaurant owners are the age of people who lived through the war and for the younger (American born) generous working there it is a story their parents told them....Being in that happy place, surrounded by Vietnamese people made me think about all that happened.....