How-soldiers-saw-vietnam

“My War: Wartime Photographs by Vietnam Veterans,” is a series of photographs I have curated that were taken by 22 US servicemen during the war. An exhibition of the images opens at The Highground memorial park, in Neillsville, Wis, on August 6, 2016.

In a New York Times Lensblog article about them, Joseph Berger writes:

The photographs are almost banal.

In contrast to most images of a war that still reverberates decades later, they show soldiers lazing, showing off their squalid jungle living quarters, discovering the charm of the Vietnamese children they encounter, reveling in a rare ocean swim. There is nothing remotely as chilling as much of the classic Vietnam War photography, no shots like Nick Ut’s of a naked Vietnamese girl fleeing from a napalm bombing or Eddie Adams’s shot of a Saigon police chief firing a bullet into the head of a Viet Cong prisoner.

Yet these photographs were taken not by professionals but by young grunts barely out of high school. Grinning wide-eyed at this strange land where they had been sent, often against their will, in circumstances they did not fully understand, with little foreboding of what might be in store, their photographs of ordinary wartime days have a special poignancy.

Read the rest.