Vietnam War in the News is an edited review of Vietnam War related news and articles.

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'No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.'
- Richard M. Nixon

Vietnam War Memorabilia, Collectibles

Tourists hunt vietnam war memorabilia, militaria
Paying just a few dollars, tourists can get keepsakes like id tags, coins, zippo lighters in Vietnam. Selling war memorabilia has been a business for several years, starting with the Demilitarised Zone Tour (DMZ). Tran Ha, a collector and provider of memorabilia, explained: "I collect war objects from hundreds of waste collectors... There are two things that foreign visitors favour the most: dog tags of US soldiers and medals the older, the better. A waste collector said that 5 years ago, war objects were present in great quantity and they were melted down. But since tourists have been purchasing these things, they have become quite rare.

Vietnam calls for its citizens to donate war memorabilia and militaria
Vietnam is calling for its citizens and foreigners to come forward and donate military memorabilia from the resistance era in a bid to preserve military history. A campaign calling for the collection of militaria will be launched on July 27 said members of the organising board, which hopes to collect 15,000-20,000 souvenirs and other paraphernalia from the two wars against the French and the American troops to put on display in 3 years, which gives people enough time to come out with their souvenirs. The board says memorabilia from the resistance are at risk of disappearing and need to be collected and maintained.

Zippo: American icon that reflects GI sentiments on Vietnam War
The Zippo lighter was an everyday companion for American soldiers fighting in Vietnam, who used it for everything from lighting up joints to burning down villages. An American icon, the tough metal lighter with the click turned into a symbol of death and mayhem, but also a canvas onto which GIs engraved their thoughts, ranging from the profane to the profound. Some mottos reflected wartime bravado, such as "Army lifers never die, they go to hell and regroup". The Zippos are a collage of the 1960s and 70s conflict when war rained death on Vietnam even as the peace movement and the "Summer of Love" counterculture spilled into US army bases in the conflict zone.

Vietnam-era Zippo Lighters as art - Soldiers expressing themselves
In Vietnam, every soldier, it seemed, had a Zippo. "I carried one. I had it engraved," said Hap Desimone. With the engravings Zippos became the one place soldiers could express themselves. Zippos by the thousands were left behind in Vietnam. 15 years ago Bradford Edwards began collecting them at Vietnamese flea markets. "Here's an interesting one, a broken peace sign on a bracelet," Edwards says. In a book chronicling his work, Edwards explains that each Zippo tells a story: the disgruntled soldier, the lonely soldier, the bored soldier.

Eerie memorabilia from the Vietnam War
Certain things are apparent about the 6 human skulls lined up on the metal cabinet in a back room of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Unlike other human specimens kept at the Defense Department's National Museum of Health and Medicine, the skulls had been confiscated from U.S. soldiers who were trying to bring them home as macabre souvenirs from Vietnam in the 1970s. But the skulls are interesting for another reason, too: The U.S. government has never made any effort to return them to Vietnam.

Riverbed divers make living off war relics, militaria, wrecks   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Divers in Vietnam`s Ca Mau province are making a living searching for remnants lying rusty at the bottom of the Cai Lon River. The divers, who hunt for everything from bullets and grenades to sunken boats and human bodies, managed to tow to the surface a 45m by 14m US gunner boat which was hit and sunk during the Vietnam War. Dam Van Dung said there are still 2 large US ships on the river bottom: "Though the ships are cumbersome, they can be raised." The rusty bullets and other weapons they found were sold as scrap metal.

Watering hole for wartime memories - military uniforms and militaria   (Article no longer available from the original source)
This bar-mini-museum lets visitors travel back in time to the Vietnamese-American War. Tucked away on a side street west of West Lake is a bar where the American War is remembered with a huge arsenal of memorabilia. Old military uniforms, army equipment and defused bombs are scattered around NoK Bar along with hundreds of other vintage objects. Visitors to Ha Noi who are interested in local history but shell-shocked after spending too much time in the Old Quarter`s tourist traps will find NoK to be a handy retreat. A unique destination - there`s a lot to learn about Vietnamese history here - but the low profile means not too many tourists visit.

Vietnam`s Eternal Flames: The Zippo is More Than a Keepsake
"Off the record," Bradford Edwards said, though this seemed an odd thing to say when stating the obvious. "I`m a little obsessed with the Vietnam Zippo." He collects the lighters by the hundreds; he celebrates them as symbols. He searches for deeper meanings in the epigrams etched into their sides by the American soldiers. "My dad was a super-professional soldier. He was a serious cat who taught at the Naval Academy, worked in the Pentagon and taught weapons design. He was one of 100 Marine Corps pilots, and he did a couple of tours. I grew up with Vietnam in my life from Day 1."

The Silver Star - Mystery to Sgt. 1st Class Richard L. Smith
The Silver Star came as a mystery to retired Sgt. 1st Class Richard L. Smith. He has no idea who nominated him for the Army`s third highest award for valor. On Aug. 29, Maj. General David Rodriguez, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, presented Smith with the Silver Star. Smith was serving as a crew chief of a UH-1D helicopter while assigned to B Company, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division. Smith received the Silver Star for "gallantry in action on November 17, 1965, when he voluntarily departed from his position in his helicopter twice to run onto an open field under fire, risking his own life to drag wounded soldiers onboard."

Order of the Silver Rose -- Medal for Agent Orange exposures
U.S. Army veteran Robert Wolfenkoehler was injured in the Vietnam War, but he received no Purple Heart. His injury took years to develop after he was exposed to Agent Orange. Wolfenkoehler was one of 12 Vietnam vets who received the Order of the Silver Rose medal, which honors victims of Agent Orange. More than 20 million gallons of Agent Orange were used by American forces. It eliminated cover for the enemy and allowed for easier movement through the jungles. No official medal has been established for veterans who have lost their life due to Agent Orange. The Order of the Silver Rose, a private organization, seeks to change that.

1st POW Killed In Vietnam Is Given Honors, Medals
The Viet Cong executed Harold George Bennett 41 years ago, after he injured a soldier while trying to escape from a prison camp for the third time. Bennett was the first U.S. prisoner of war put to death during the Vietnam War. A fellow soldier documented his heroism, but recognition efforts stalled. Recently his family was presented with a Combat Infantryman's Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, Prisoner of War Medal and Purple Heart. "In the jungles of Vietnam, he displayed courage before and after he was captured by the Viet Cong. He twice called off helicopter pilots who were attempting to rescue him because he wanted to save them from being shot down."