Nebraska Stories

Air Date: 09/11/2017

Journey to The Wall Four chartered jets flew 654 Nebraska Vietnam veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and several other war memorials. We follow the veterans on their journey as they share their memories of the war and are given a welcome home they'll never forget. Honor Flight Reflection Cheryl Feala was the only female veteran on board the recent Vietnam Veteran honor flight to Washington, D.C. From 1968 to 1969, Cheryl was an Army nurse stationed in a combat zone during the Vietnam War. Cheryl reflects on her honor flight experience. A Duty to Protest At 17, Tim Butz enlisted in the Air Force and did a tour of duty in Vietnam, following four generations of men in his family serving in uniform dating back to the Civil War. After being honorably discharged in 1969, he enrolled at Kent State University in Ohio. Just more than a year later, on May 4, 1970, the National Guard opened fire on protesters at Kent State and Butz was there. The Kent State shootings not only deeply intensified Butz’ own previously conflicted opposition to the war but increased the U.S. public’s concerns as well. Butz became one of the national organizers of the Vietnam veterans protest movement and spent the following three decades of his career fighting for the disabled, fair housing and civil liberties. A former Executive Director of ACLU Nebraska and the Nebraska Justice Center, and former Assistant Director of the Fair Housing Center of Nebraska and Iowa, Butz now volunteers at his local Disabled American Veterans office, connecting with veterans from various conflicts. He shares his perspective on the Vietnam War and how those issues reverberate still today. Safe Harbor Dr. Bich Chau of Lincoln was one of the “boat people” who escaped post-war Communist rule in Vietnam. She remembers living comfortably in Kiengiang Province where her father worked as a policeman. Then the communists came, and put her father in jail. When he was released, her family escaped in a boat crammed with 94 other people who would rather face Thai pirates and uncertain life in a refugee camp than stay in their homeland. Dr. Chau shares her story of culture shock, transformation, and life in Nebraska after the Vietnam War. A Name to Remember All A likeable young man from Norfolk enlisted in the Army when he was 19. He never saw 20. Through an interview with his childhood friend, Jan Einspahr, we explore VanAndel’s life and how the Norfolk native served as inspiration to memorialize all who perished in the Vietnam War on a wall in Washington, D.C.