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Fall issue sparks discussion
I was very interested in the account in the Fall 2000 Wittenberg Magazine of the actions taken and feelings expressed by students and faculty during the Vietnam War.
I had graduated in ’66 and previous to that, there was not much activity on campus concerning the war. We went to the neighboring Antioch campus to hear their expressions opposing the war.
My husband Jim, also a ’66 grad, and I lived in Nashville, Tenn. for the next three years and experienced the racial tensions during that period, from the perspective of a southern city.
Jim was attending seminary at Vanderbilt, and much dialogue took place. We supported Gene McCarthy when he came to the campus and spoke out against the war. The impact of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. in Nashville remained with us.
Returning to Ohio in the ’70s, my husband did draft counseling in the Warren area, while he was a Lutheran pastor in Champion, Ohio. I supported the McCarthy campaign.
One of the young men in our congregation came to Jim for help with his conscientious objection petition. At the time, I don’t think we heard about much going on at Witt. Of course the Kent State shooting was a shock to us all.
In our congregation we had two young men on the campus at that time. Later, they individually told their stories to Jim.
One man looked at the protest from an upstairs classroom window, and when he saw the shooting, he was sickened and moved to action to support the protest against the war.
The other young man was an undercover police agent, posing as a protester, and when caught by the Kent police, he beat up an officer, so as not to expose his identity.
Charles Chatfield was a professor for both my husband and me, and we are thankful for his witness during and after the war.
My husband and I continued to be active in local nuclear war protests, peace movements and Central America Information Week (Jim directed the play Peasant of El Salvador, and it was performed throughout the Ohio Synod).
We served in ministries in Liberia, West Africa, Israel, and England carrying this same global concern with us for social ministry.
Jim died from cancer in ’96 in London, and I moved back to Nashua, N.H. where I’m an active member of Bread for the World, advocating for Debt Relief for Poor Countries and am the chairperson for our social ministry committee supporting hunger and housing issues, a legal holiday in New Hampshire for Martin Luther King Jr., and the Palestinian Christian congregations on the West Bank in this recent violence.
My sons Timothy and Jeffrey joined me on a Lutheran World Relief study trip to Bolivia and Peru in ’99.
I also teach English as a Second Language to adults and have had people from Vietnam, Russia and Central America as students.
I credit Witt and professors for beginning me on my life’s journey as a global citizen!
Since I am of the Class of ’51, I have received a multitude of information from “Dear Old Wittenberg” — none so touching, so evoking of a remembered past pleasantly relived.
The Vietnam Era revisited had a perspective so deep and so real that I was emotionally overcome as I am certain many readers were. I personally knew several of the “Gone But Not Forgotten.”
Indeed, Maj. Lumadue was a fraternity brother, a fine man, a close friend with a wife who adored him.
The “ad astra” mention of Duane Lantz, another frat brother, Bob Holland (a close friend) and several others listed, is a noteworthy effort of the staff that is appreciated, along with, of course, the “Class Notes” to help keep us all current, thanks to Ms. Castillo.
Just wanted to tell you thanks for the newest issue of The Wittenberg Magazine. It never fails to bring me something of interest and bring back good memories.
I’ll be honest, you probably will get mixed reviews on the Vietnam article, at least from members of my generation. Quite honestly, it obviously brings forth quite different reactions depending on the age of the reader.
I grew up in the era of “duty, honor, country,” and it’s hard for me to go along with the outright disrespect shown by many students back then, but on the other hand, the U.S. was obviously in the wrong on this one.
A very painful time for everyone. Here’s a take not often given — throughout our country’s history, persons who served in the armed services were honored without question.
Vietnam vets have been reviled, unfortunately, by the students of the time, and admittedly, other people at the time didn’t give them the respect they deserved. After all, it wasn’t the soldier’s fault they were over there.
I believe eventually Vietnam vets will get the honor they deserve.
I also remember Dr. Veler from my later college days, but of course, at that time, I just remembered him as this guy who was in a younger graduating class, but you could tell he would accomplish a lot even then.
Congratulations on the two feature articles in each of the last two issues of the magazine. I especially enjoyed Dr. Chatfield’s article about campus changes sparked by Vietnam-related events.
However, I also found Dave Arnold’s piece quite interesting, too, particularly since it helped me understand what the college was like when my father was there.
The changes in the magazine’s substance match the earlier changes in style. The magazine is slick enough (but not too slick), and the notion of a feature article is a nice touch that, in my mind, contrasts it with the overly slick, lacking-in-substance alumni magazines put out by other institutions.
I read with interest the long article written by Dr. Charles Chatfield, of Wittenberg’s history department, on the involvement of Wittenberg University in the Vietnam War. First, let me say at the outset that I was not, nor am, an alumnus of Wittenberg University. ...
I noticed in Dr. Chatfield’s article that one man, who was an alumnus of Wittenberg was a member of my unit — the First Air Cavalry Division. I did not know him. His name was Pfc. Jeffrey S. Dyer. ...
I was totally surprised, however, to see another name in the list. ... That was of Sgt. Robert C. Phleger ’60, USMC, who “died after being attacked by a tiger while on reconnaissance patrol in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, May 7, 1970.”
The reason I was surprised? My mother, Gwen Eagan, from Logansport, Ind., worked for a Ms. Terry Phleger, who was a Presbyterian minister, at Cavalry Presbyterian Church, Logansport, Ind., in the 80s. ...
Dr. Chatfield’s article was an excellent recap of those turbulent times as seen through the eyes of someone who was at Wittenberg during the turmoil.
Tumult. The entire foundation shaken hard. I can only hope that particularly history, political science, geography and education majors at Wittenberg read and then reread Dr. Chatfield’s article. ...
Remember where we have been, as a nation, in the last hundred years. Remember what 58,000+ American men and women have sacrificed for you. Their names are on page 14 of the Fall 2000 copy of Wittenberg Magazine.
Those were real people. ... If you go to Washington, D.C. anytime soon ... take the magazine with you. Look the names of these men up on the Internet before you go. Get the lines and panels those men’s names are on.
Search them out, touch the inscriptions. Even if you did not know them ... know nonetheless that eight men from Wittenberg were killed in Vietnam ... for you. Really. For you.
Eight of over 58,000+ names. ... I have been to the wall. I know more than 10 who did not return. I did not know Robert Phleger, but I did know his widow. ...
She probably can tell you what she was doing, and how she felt, when she finally heard her husband had been killed. ... My mom can tell you how she felt when she got the telegram advising her I had been severely wounded.
Wittenberg was represented in the war ... either by those who fought in the paddies or in the streets. Learn something about that struggle. Take the lessons that resonate for you to heart. And grow from them into what it is you believe you want to be.
In the final analysis, those who fought in the paddies and the streets did that so you can have the time, and leisure ... to learn and integrate these lessons.
I was very happy to read an article about the fine arts department by Sarah Lowe ’00 in the last issue of Wittenberg Magazine. I hope we will hear more from this part of the school. I would like to see the department’s faculty members highlighted with their work.
I was so very pleased with your editorial message about Dr. Veler. Dick and I were both at Wittenberg and Phi Gams for the same four years. His standards were high then...and that didn’t change. How nice to recognize him as you did. I very much appreciate it.
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