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I was there in 67- Presentarts
November 11 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
A Tribute to the Vietnam Vet “I Was There in 67”
“I Was There in 67” written by Judith Present and directed by Bonnie Deforest will be coming to the Phelps Mansion Museum on Nov. 11th at 7 p.m. to commemorate those who went to Vietnam. This performance piece brings alive the stories many Vets have long held in and some they never could tell, so we do it for our soldiers who accommodated the draft and our country’s call to war.
The Vietnam War was the first war we watched from our couches as camera crews put their lives in danger to film the action. We watched our soldiers coping as best they could with indomitable hotness and the clamminess of the Vietnam jungles, weighted down with backpacks and guns. Rarely did they even see the enemy who knew the surroundings better than they did, who planted booby traps, had gorilla snipers, and land mines, and hid below the jungle floor.
Drafted and unprepared for such a war, the American soldiers found themselves in an environment and culture they couldn’t understand. What started as a popular war for democracy, ended up a quagmire with little understanding why we were even there. By the time everyone had lost a son or daughter public opinion changed. And though it was the first war we watched from our television sets; it was also the last war that young men were drafted for a war they didn’t believe in and yet served their country just the same. We want them to know we still think about what they’ve done for this country and are appreciated, despite the fact they didn’t come home to a warm welcome.
From the Playwright: From interviewing Vietnam Vets over the years; their frankness though sometimes bitter, sometimes with a chuckle, helped me to make my characters real. My own experience was a husband in the reserve who was called up in 1967. Neither of us knew what the future would hold, and we had no choice but to walk into the unknown. And now years later it is American history that shouldn’t be forgotten.