Vietnam veterans panel to mark Tet Offensive anniversary

Vietnam veterans Jim DeCamp, Tony Gurak and Roger Johnson will speak at “50 Years After Tet: Personal Reflections on the Vietnam War” at 12:45 p.m. April 10 in Stage 14 at Finger Lakes Community College, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Hopewell.

The free event will mark the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, which is considered the turning point of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

Johnson said the horrors he endured in Vietnam silenced him for years after his return from the battlefield.

“When I got home I started to slowly unwind, but I never spoke of Vietnam,” he said. “I never said a word.”

These days, Johnson reflects on his experiences as an Army infantry soldier with anyone who will listen. He is determined to preserve history in the retelling, and has found healing in recounting his year at war.

“Almost a half-century since its painful termination, the legacy and scars of the Vietnam War are still being felt today,” said Robert Brown, professor of history at FLCC and event coordinator. “It is meaningful, moving and profound that after decades of silence or neglect, those who served in Vietnam are now speaking up and relating their diverse experiences of one of the longest and most controversial conflicts in American history.”

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