890 – Vietnam Vets speak to students at Cedar Springs, Michigan

Cedar Springs grads and Vietnam veterans Chuck Smith and Tom Hoskins, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Cedar Springs grads and Vietnam veterans Chuck Smith (left) and Tom Hoskins swap stories about their military careers.

You may or may not have noticed Vietnam Veterans are beginning to get a little long in the tooth. When they pass on to their rewards their thoughts and memories go with them if they don’t follow in the footsteps of two Vietnam Vets in Cedar Springs, Michigan. A story in the School News Network of Cedar Falls, Michigan titled: Vietnam Vets Bring Realities of War Back Home to Students – by Alexander Sinn tells about what these two Vietnam Vets are doing to help succeeding generations know the real story about the Vietnam War.

Tom Hoskins, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Tom Hoskins gives students a history lesson through the lens of a soldier during the 1960s

Chuck Smith, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Chuck Smith: “In a battle like that, if you take someone’s life, you leave a little bit of your soul behind on the ground”

They returned to Cedar Falls High School to speak to a history class. They returned to Cedar Falls High School to speak

story class. Both Chuck and Tom grew up in Cedar Falls and graduated from the same school. The teacher of that class Sairah Ahmed said the class had been studying the Vietnam War through textbooks, online research and recorded interviews with veterans. She said: “having veterans in the classroom added a new layer of facts, and a more compelling side to the story than anything they could look up.”

Cedar Springs High School Students, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Cedar Springs High School Students listening to Vietnam Vets Chuck Smith and Tom Hoskins tell about the Vietnam War.

The students listened in rapt attention when Chuck Smith told about a former Cedar Springs classmate who was drafted and killed in Vietnam. He said: “Trying to put things into perspective for you, he graduated in ’67, and was killed in ’67. You guys are juniors and seniors. Sixteen, 17, 18 years old. He wasn’t much older.”

The response to the Vietnam Veterans visit to the history class was highly positive by both Sairah Ahmed, the teacher, and the students. Vietnam Vets Chuck Smith and Tom Hoskins should be commended for taking the time and effort to speak to the high school students. Their actions should serve as an example to other Vietnam Vets to willingly tell about their service in Vietnam so succeeding generations can learn from the past and many not repeat the same mistakes.


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