Vietnam War

John Carroll Whitener
Courtesy of John Carroll Whitener

 John Carroll Whitener could have easily avoided being drafted into the Vietnam War. He could have truthfully checked the box marked “yes” on the military form that asked new recruits if they had homosexual tendencies. But doing so would have meant admitting a truth he was not ready to accept and facing the consequences of a future that did not include his family and church.

Cover of Hue 1968
Courtesy of Mark Bowden / Atlantic Monthly Press/2017

Almost 50 years after the epic battle that changed the course of the Vietnam War, author Mark Bowden visited the city of Hue to piece together what happened. 

Members of the Jacksonville, N.C. Rolling Thunder chapter pass a flame during a cememony honoring prisoners of war and troops missing in action.
Jay Price / WUNC

In the Vietnam War era, Americans became more interested in recovering missing troops -- largely because of the activism of some military families.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Heaney

Stephen Henderson rarely talked about his military service or his time in Vietnam until he joined a writing group of other Vietnam War veterans at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville.

As the nation prepares to commemorate Memorial Day, more than 1600 service members remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. For the families of some of them, the search for answers has become a lifelong pursuit.

Trieu Tran in 'Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam,' performed Sept. 17-Oct 6, 2013 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles.
Craig Schwartz

Trieu Tran has overcome immense challenges in his life as a refugee from the Vietnam War. His journey to America was sustained on the hope and promise of freedom. But when he arrived, his life was not nearly as glamorous.

Meanwhile, Tran struggled to understand his identity as a refugee in America. He took up acting, eventually landing roles in movies like “Tropic Thunder” and the award-winning TV series “The Newsroom.”