Kimberly students learn about Vietnam War from veterans

Published: Apr. 13, 2017 at 6:57 PM CDT
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Kimberly High School students didn't need to read a text book Thursday to learn about the Vietnam War.

They learned directly from the veterans that lived it.

The veterans had artifacts like ammo, uniforms, and weapons used in the Vietnam War.

The collection has been in the making for 30 years.

Beyond the collection, there Veterans tell stories.

"We're not hear to talk about the war its self, we just want to talk about our experience and try to give the kids something that we got from the war, whether it'd be good or bad," said Vietnam Veteran Larry Cavanaugh.

The group from 351 Vietnam Veterans of America in Appleton travels up to 15 high schools and three colleges a year.

The goal is to educate students on what military service was like at that time.

"And if we don't do it, by God, who's going to do it, you know," said Cavanaugh.

A student from Kimberly, Charlie Fischer, says being able to something from the Vietnam War in person has much more impact then seeing it in a book.

"Cause you can read about the war and you can see the pictures and it's really different when you get to interact with someone that's actually there," Fischer said. "Actually experiencing all the horrors of the war and to be able to hold a helmet in your hand."

It's also a perfect lesson plan for this Kimberly social studies teacher, Brad Klitzke.

"The way I tend to look at history, it's not about dates and presidents, history's about people that lived during those time periods," Klitzke said. "So when I talk about the Vietnam War in class I really do try to focus on the soldiers experience."

And hearing those experiences is something these veterans believe can better shape students.

"A human experience and what the soldier goes through," said Cavanugh.