Dear Native American involved in Vietnam:
Thank you for your interest in our project. As you may already know, we wish to preserve personal accounts and histories from Native Americans whose lives were affected by the Vietnam War. The most active phase of our project involves an effort to save oral histories of the Native Americans who served in Vietnam. If you served in Vietnam, your story is a historical resource that can help preserve the account of a special group of Americans who served in a war unlike any other in our national experience. The resource from which histories of Native Americans in WWI, WWII, and Korea can be recorded are rapidly dwindling. One of our goals is to preserve your story. Your story is important in itself, and it can fit into a larger mosaic of the contributions from your brothers and sisters.
We would like to encourage you to simply write out your experiences, in your own words, about Vietnam. I have found it easiest for me to write as if I was telling a friend, buddy, or relative about Vietnam. Don't worry about trying to define terms used in Nam, military jargon, or spelling of place names. We have resources for interpreting "Namspeak." If writing presents a problem, we can furnish micro-cassette tapes to record your contributions to send to us. Or, you can send us your own tape-recorded story and we will transcribe your work. Regardless of the method, recording your story is what is most important.
As professional researchers, we have no political or philosophical axe to grind, we only wish to preserve oral histories of Native Americans whose lives were touched by Vietnam. We are also collecting copies of letters, diaries, photographs and other records that relate to Native Americans in Vietnam. We cannot accurately tell the story of Native Americans in Vietnam without your help. So any and all contributions will be greatly appreciated.
Robert Sanderson (Micmac)