Vietnam War's Legacy Explored in Panel Discussion April 2

Three Speakers to Describe Their Vivid, Varied Experiences

ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. (March 24, 2008)—The war in Iraq, which is now entering its sixth year, has been compared to the U.S. war in Vietnam in many ways. St. Mary's College of Maryland will host a panel presentation by three people familiar with the Vietnam War's legacy.

The presentation will be held Wednesday, April 2, at 4:30 p.m. in Library 321. This presentation is free and open to the public.

The three speakers are Nguyen Thi Tien, who was a young girl in North Vietnam during the war; Sedgwick Tourison, Jr., who first served in Vietnam as a U.S. Army interrogator; and Wayne Karlin, who is writing a book about an American soldier who returned captured personal documents to the family of a man he shot during the war.

The main speaker, Nguyen Thi Tien, she grew up under bombing raids in her home province. Five of her siblings and her brother-in-law were killed in the war. Tien received a university degree in teaching, and after 1975 taught folklore at Da Lat College in the South.

In 1994, she became deputy director of a museum in Vinh, in northern Vietnam, where artifacts from the unidentified dead were collected, stored and displayed. She became passionately interested in the issue of the 300,000 Vietnamese war dead whose remains have never been recovered, and began traveling the country, helping to find and identify hundreds of remains. Tien has since become legendary in Vietnam as an advocate for the missing.

Sedgewick Tourison, Jr. first served in Vietnam from 1961-1963. A graduate of the Defense Language Institute, fluent in Vietnamese and Mandarin, he went back in 1965 for a second tour. He stayed in Vietnam until 1967, as an interrogator and intelligence analyst, and in 1970-74 performed the same function in Laos and Cambodia. He has since written Talking with Victor Charlie as well as many articles, and currently works with a publishing house in Washington, D.C. arranging publication of American titles within Vietnam.

Author Wayne Karlin is currently under contract with Nation Books to write the story of a U.S. soldier who returned documents to the family of a man he shot. He has previously published six novels and two works of creative non-fiction. He was the consulting producer and writer for a six-part National Public Radio series on the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Karlin has received numerous literary awards, including the Vietnam Veterans of American Excellence in Arts Award for 2005. He is a professor of languages and literature at the College of Southern Maryland.

This event is jointly sponsored by the following programs at St. Mary's College of Maryland: Asian Studies, the Economics Department, and the Political Science Department.

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