Still Here

Hear Vietnam War Stories from Illinois on WILL-AM 580 

Photo Credit: Pat Mayer

Still Here: Vietnam War Stories from Illinois is a haunting new documentary that provides self-reflections of the Vietnam War from the personal stories of Illinois residents who fought it and opposed it and those who were displaced because of it.

“The realities of the Vietnam War, and war in general, are revealed in the multiple perspectives of those who shared their stories with us,” said Kimberlie Kranich, series co-producer and director of community content and engagement. “These are the perspectives of your friends and neighbors many of whom still find it difficult to talk about.”

John Fecile, co-producer adds, “Whether they’re dealing with the effects of PTSD or Agent Orange, or if they’re the children of refugees, soldiers who took life, or if they’re present-day activists who have inherited both the culture and tactics of the anti-Vietnam War movement, they’re your friends and neighbors, not photos in some textbook.”

The documentary features Donald Hyche, a Marine helicopter gunner; Connie Edwards, an Army officer nurse; Jerome Wiese, a Army combat medic; Dick Hertle, a personnel clerk; Bon Bui, a Vietnamese commander and POW; Ut Ha, a Vietnamese civilian, Terry Hairrell, an Army combat infantryman and Timothy Kendall, a draft resister.

“Every war hurts people in many deep and invisible ways,” Kranich said. “It is our hope that you’ll get to know and care about all of the people in our documentary, regardless of their perspective.”

Still Here: Vietnam War Stories from Illinois airs at 3 pm Saturday, October 21 and 5 pm Sunday, October 29 on WILL-AM 580. You can listen to it any time here

The Still Here: Vietnam War Stories from Illinois feature series aired during Morning Edition October 16 – 21, featuring stories from:

  • A Marine platoon commander who remembers his radio man “Smitty,” who sacrificed his life for others
  • a Vietnamese resident who escaped Vietnam on a boat in the late 1970s
  • A personnel clerk who discovered a secret about himself on the plane home from Vietnam
  • An officer in the Army Nurse Corps who mended wounded soldiers and civilians while combatting racism and sexism

To learn more about the lives of the people featured in Still Here: Vietnam War Stories from Illinois, as well as other Illinois veterans and civilians or to listen again, visit: will.illinois.edu/vietnam.