Monday, October 23, 2017

Vietnam, Part 5

This is the fourth person I spoke with.  All of these stories are so different, it's almost as if they might have been fighting the same war, but in very different ways.   If you haven't seen the others in this series, you can read "Barry's" story here, "Jesse's" story here, and "Ted's" story here.

If you recall, I asked each vet for his year of birth, what year he went to Vietnam, and where he was stationed.  I also asked if he enlisted or was drafted.  Then I asked for some personal feelings about things he remembered from the war.

Please be aware these stories were told in my own words, based on the information and facts each serviceman provided me.

Because this affects how I feel about Vietnam and how these veterans bared their souls, I'm adding it to Elke's theme, Landscapes of the Soul at Art Journal Journey. 

This is "Jim's" story.  He was very vocal.  He would talk calmly for awhile, then go off on a tirade over something I said or asked.

I searched the internet for a crop duster, but all I could find was this antique plane, I hoped might look like one.  Suddenly, I found all these old airplane buttons in my stash and decided to use them, too.  At first I didn't want to cut the loops off the buttons for fear they would fall apart (they are in two parts), but once I added the E6000 glue, they stayed intact quite well.

I asked Jim to explain the word "grunt."  He first told me it probably meant "boots on the ground."  Then he gave me these better explanations.

Now you understand the significance of the planes.  They dropped tons and tons of Agent Orange over a good part of the countryside in Vietnam, as well as eastern Laos and Cambodia, where the Ho Chi Minh Trail was located.

Jim also told me he and his fellow American veterans were not the only ones looking for aid from Agent Orange.  The Vietnamese were also affected and wanted reparations for the lives that were destroyed or the children who were born deformed in some way.   

Jim was just another divorce statistic that was often the case with returning vets.  From what I've read and been told, divorce was often synonymous with Vietnam vets, whether they were married before they went to Vietnam, or after they returned home from their tour of duty.

Although I forgot to add something Jim told me, he said one thing that kept him sane was his love of photography.  He kept a camera with him at all times and took photos of both happy and sad times.  He told me he sent all the film home and never saw any of the photos until he returned stateside. 

I used this picture to show a photo he might have taken when he was on leave.

I used the back of the previous page (three pages sewn together) as my substrate.   You can see the heavier bobbin thread didn't correct my tension problem.  I added computer generated text, an image from the internet, four airplane buttons, and one colored image from a travel magazine.

I have one more person whose story I have received, then I will create another page from my point of view.  Thanks for visiting with me today.  I hope you are enjoying this series, and how very different each person's view of the war was.  Thanks also for joining me at Art Journal Journey.  I hope to see you there, too.


16 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

I'm pleased to see that this soldier voiced his anger over what happened in Vietnam. Thanks for sharing your very interesting page. Have a good start in the new week, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

He is so right to be angry and to voice his anger!
A fabulous tribute to Bill and all the many others! Well done Elizabeth ! A beautiful composed page!
Great to do the backside - do you normally just the frontside of the pages, or do you sew or glue together two pages back to back in the end?
Happy new week -
Thanks a lot for another fabulous entry to the current collection over at AJJ my friend!
oxo Susi

froebelsternchen Susi said...

meant Jim... his name is J I M!!! Sorry Jim!

geistige_Schritte said...

he has a right to express his anger what happened in Vietman so bad!
It was again an interesting designed pages!
Thank you for linking to AJJ
a nice new week

My name is Erika. said...

Wow, Jim had a hard time, didn't he? What I didn't know until recently was how our attacking Cambodia really strengthened the Khmer Rouge there. You should read First They Killed My father about that civil war. It is sad but a very good story. I do like in your pages how each vet has their own story and thoughts of the war. It was still a tough war to get into. I am enjoying these pages. Happy Monday. Hugs-Erika

RO said...

As always, your artwork is pretty amazing. I'm a veteran, and admit that seeing the words of Jim made me cry because I've heard of this happening and imagine his suffering along with many others. Veterans who have been in war have been through trauma we can only imagine, and some still can't even talk about it. I love how you share their stories. Hugs and Happy Monday...RO

Sami said...

Another sad story about the horrors of war. Thanks Elizabeth for bringing these moving stories to life so many years after the Vietnam war.
All the best to Jim.

CJ Kennedy said...

Another amazing story. Sad to think the government abandoned these vets after their service. So much collateral damage.

Darla said...

The stories are interesting Elizabeth. As I think I mentioned, my DH was there. So many of our friends were there. I've heard so many stories.

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

A wonderful statement and page, Elizabeth. I know another vet suffering the devastating life-long effects of Agent Orange. It's good that the government finally stepped up with care for them, but awful late in coming.

BTW, did you know that workers in the shipyards during WWII were heavily exposed to asbestos while the government knew the long term effects? Many of the workers later developed mesothelioma. I found original source documents of the foreknowledge while working on a paper for my Masters. Winning the war came first.

Meggymay said...

He had every right to vent his anger and such a rotten shame that the Vets had to wait so long before your government to react.
It was another moving story. Thank you for sharing these servicemens memories with us.
Yvonne xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a sad story but pleased to see that he stood up for himself! Once again I did not know about any of these things about the Vietnam war Chrisx

Let's Art Journal said...

Hi, thanks for your question 😁. Teacakes and English Muffins are not the same thing. What you call an English Muffin in the US is called the same and is the same thing here in the UK. Lorraine is eating a speciality of the area (Cumbria), which is a 'teacake', in the UK teacakes are a sweetened yeasted bread type roll which usually has dried fruit in, except in Cumbria where a teacake is plain unless you ask for a 'currant teacake'. An English muffin is a breakfast item often served as Eggs Benedict or with smoked salmon, whereas a teacake is usually served toasted with butter and sometime jam (jelly) with a cuppa mid morning for elevensies. Hope this helps. J 😊 x

Jeanie said...

I am definitely enjoying the series and the different points of view. The stories are so very poignant. How wonderful for them to be listened to. The airplane buttons are genius.

craftytrog said...

Another very moving account!

roth phallyka said...

Thanks a lot for another fabulous entry to the current collection over at AJJ my friend!

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