The Vietnam War

On this page you will find a variety of resources and stories examining the many ways the Vietnam War affected people from central Illinois. 

Vietnam War

Listen

Still Here: Vietnam War Stories from Illinois

The full-length documentary, providing self-reflection of the Vietnam War from the personal stories of Illinois residents who fought in it, who opposed it, and who were displaced because of it, airs at 3 pm Saturday, Oct. 21, and again at 5 pm Sunday, Oct. 29, on WILL-AM 580. 

The week of October 16, 2017, bonus stories from Still Here aired on WILL-Radio, featuring Steve Allen (who also reads a poem here), Patrick Lam, Richard Hertel, Constance Edwards, and one of the producers of the documentary, Kimberlie Kranich. The stories can be found at the individual links or here

[Photo: Donald Hyche with fellow soldiers on their way to Vietnam, 1970.]

Illinois Public Media captured oral histories of local Vietnam veterans and war refugees as a part of the Downstate Vietnam Stories project. View the entire collection of local Vietnam War oral histories. Also, with the help of local teachers, these oral histories have become lesson plans offered on the Illinois Edition of PBS Learning Media, including both one-day lessons and lengthier units.

Look back

Explore a variety of programs and segments from WILL Radio and Television archives covering and discussing the Vietnam War, and its political, cultural, and personal impact on those in our community and throughout the region.

Watch 

The Vietnam War is a new documentary series from PBS directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. WILL-TV is re-airing all 10 parts of The Vietnam War beginning Oct. 3 and continuing each Tuesday night at 8 pm through Nov. 28. Viewers are also welcome to stream all 18-hours of the film online for free now through Oct. 3. Friends of WILL can view the entire documentary anytime thanks to the newest member benefit, WILL Passport

Vietnam: Soldiers' Stories

WILL-TV present this documentary in which 13 Illinois Vietnam veterans reflect on their war experiences 26 years after the end of the war. The veterans describe the great sadness they still feel because so many comrades died as well as share how their experiences still shape who they are today. Powerful stories are woven with combat footage, some of it filmed by John Laemmar, who is one of the veterans sharing personal accounts of the war and its aftermath.

Aired: 2000 | Runtime: 56:28 | Rating: NR

Eastern Illinois Foodback

Central Illinois Vietnam War Stories

A man being interviewed on camera in a studio

Oral History Interview: Donald Hyche

Donald Hyche of Champaign, Illinois enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served as an area door gunner during the Vietnam War from 1970 – 1971.  He reflects on race relations, combat and his recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder.


two women, Constance Edwards in uniform on the right

Oral History Interview: Constance Edwards

Constance Edwards of Frankfort, Illinois served as an officer in the Army Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War from 1966 until 1967.  The United States Army recruited her while she was a student at Tuskegee University in Alabama, where she was born and lived until joining the Army.