A Landmark Documentary Event
About the Film
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tell the epic story of the war as it's never before been told on film. The Vietnam War series will be available at 7pm on September 17th for streaming on the web (desktop or mobile) and PBS apps in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese languages.
Support for The Vietnam War series on WPT provided by
Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories
Part 1: Escalation
Early events that set the conflict and United States participation in Vietnam are outlined. Wisconsin Vietnam veterans share stories of strong bonds of combat brotherhood that came from increasing adversity. Members of the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy recall the allure, challenges and heartbreaking loss of early combat against the increasingly rampant advance of the Viet Cong.
Part 2: Turning Point
As the war waged on, scenes of deadly attacks are juxtaposed with the American public's increasing animosity toward the war. The Tet Offensive shocked both soldiers and the world due to previous beliefs that the enemy was incapable of such an effort of massive military force. Veterans reflect on the staggering casualties in Vietnam, and describe their own modes of coping with the reality of war.
Part 3: Draw Down
Though the war began to wane, dangerous missions continued against the North Vietnamese Army. Veterans recall scenes during the last major battles, where many lives were lost in the jungle terrain. Secret missions in Laos helped combat enemy threats against the Hmong population. As the U.S. began to pull back troops, thousands of refugees were evacuated and POWs were finally released back home.
Free Preview Screenings
Join Wisconsin Public Television for previews of The Vietnam War, a new 10-part documentary series produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The screening will be accompanied by the exhibit Wisconsin Remembers: A Face for Every Name and will be followed by a panel discussion with area veterans talking about their experiences and reflecting on the film preview.
Way of the Warrior
Exploring the warrior ethic among Native Americans, this documentary also reveals how Native communities have traditionally viewed their warriors and why, during the 20th century, Native men and women have signed up for military service at a rate three times higher than non-Indians.
Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans: In their Own Words
Wisconsin veterans share personal stories of their experiences in the Vietnam War. Please note: These oral histories may contain language that can be considered profane, racially insensitive or otherwise offensive. The language has been retained to give an accurate historical record of their remarks.
"We were fighting to get our own selves back home. We had to protect each other to get back."
"I felt kind of strongly that we all owe a debt to those that didn't make it to live our lives better...to help people.”
“They bombed the hell out of everything. Nothing changed...we won nothing over there.”
"The biggest strength in my adult life was my experience in Vietnam — the experience of the friendships..and lack of discrimination.”
George Miller & Duke
“My dog was the best. You wouldn't be a true dog handler if your dog wasn't the best. They're just like a human being. He could almost talk.”
Milwaukee County War Memorial Center believes every veteran has a story. A story that’s critical for future generations to hear.
Local Peace Movement
Madison native David Maraniss, author of "They Marched into Sunlight," discusses his book that documents anti-war movement activities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during two days in October 1967.
John Garofolo, author of "Dickey Chapelle Under Fire," shares stories of female American war correspondent Dickey Chapelle, a Wisconsin native and award-winning war photographer, who was killed while on assignment.
Hmong Refugee Resettlement
Fred Prehn DDS, a former member of Wausau School Board after the Vietnam War, reflects on how the local community helped Hmong refugee families who migrated from South Asia to Wausau in the 1980s.
In May 2010, the LZ Lambeau Tribute Event at Green Bay's Lambeau Field honored and thanked Wisconsin's Vietnam veterans, while offering a warm welcome home that many never received.
Motorcyclists Honor Vietnam Veterans
Here & Now's Frederica Freyberg talks with Vietnam War veteran and WPT videographer Butch Soetenga about the 2010 ride to the LZ Lambeau event, which honored Wisconsin's Vietnam War veterans.
Black Music and the Black Experience in Vietnam
Lauren Onkey, the vice president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, moderates a panel discussion with: Art Flowers, William Bell, and Clyde Stubblefield.
Warfare and Public Perception in 2050
John W. Hall, former Army strategist and U.S. military history professor at UW-Madison, discusses how the Vietnam War impacts current American conflicts. Lecture recorded in 2010.
The people of the Menominee Nation have fought to protect their homeland for generations. This documentary profiles veterans of the Vietnam War who are working to help today's veterans cope with the invisible scars of combat.
Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories is produced as a partnership of The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, the Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Public Television, along with an extensive group of veterans organizations statewide.
Lead funding for Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories and LZ Lambeau has been provided by Don and Roxanne Weber, and Associated Bank.
Initial major funding has been provided by Ho-Chunk Nation; The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; Wisconsin Public Service Foundation; Kwik Trip; Forest County Potawatomi; Oshkosh Defense; General Motors Dealers of Northeast Wisconsin, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC Truck and Cadillac; Ron and Colleen Weyers; Oneida Nation; Philip J. and Elizabeth B. Hendrickson; Festival Foods; Hydrite Chemical Co.; Grainger Industrial Supply; and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Additional contributors include Lowell and Mary Peterson, IKI Manufacturing, The Evjue Foundation, The Mielke Family Foundation, Robert and Patricia Endries Family Foundation Ltd., Ron and Patty Anderson, American Family Insurance, The Boldt Company, Credit Union Executives Society, Michels Corporation, Taco Bell, Tom Schober, David Walsh, and Fred Johnson.
And from contributions from the Friends of Wisconsin Public Television and the Wisconsin History Fund, which is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.