Building Libraries in Vietnam with Chuck Theusch Part 1

Chuck Theusch served with the Army in 1969 and 1970 in Vietnam as a member of the 11th Infantry Brigade in the Americal Division. During the last 20 years, Chuck has made dozens of trips to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to build more than 35 libraries. He is the founder and CEO of the Library of Vietnam Project, which builds libraries that promote educational programs on landmine and unexploded bomb safety awareness, medical and legal education, and many other fields. Chuck was raised on a dairy farm, attended Kewaskum High School, and played football, baseball, and basketball. Today he lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Today, Chuck joins me to discuss going back to Vietnam to build libraries and his experiences of friendly fire. He shares his motive for volunteering for the draft, his feelings, and his curiosity surrounding Vietnam.Chuck discusses how the ‘old-timers’ looked after the new guys, how returning from the war affected him, and how he became an attorney, defending veterans and fighting for VA benefits. Chuck also discusses his passion for building libraries in Vietnam and his belief that knowledge and information creates freedom.

” To understand what war is all about and having done something like that myself, I’ve got a lot of compassion for any guy in any war that does the human things you can do in your life: make a mistake.” – Chuck Theusch

This week on the Stigma Free Vet Zone Podcast:

  • How Chuck volunteered for the draft with a friend and joined the Buddy Program
  • Chuck’s mixed feelings and driving curiosity to find out what was happening in Vietnam
  • How the one-week in-country training and defectors from the Chieu Hoi Program of Vietnam highlighted the seriousness of what was to come
  • How the ‘old-timers’ looked out for the FNGs (new guys)
  • Why inverting a number when calculating a fire emission round and almost causing a friendly fire became the incident that sticks in Chuck’s mind
  • How being called a baby-killer when returning from Vietnam at the age of nineteen affected Chuck
  • Reflecting on Vietnam and how later in life in this starts to surface in a more significant way
  • Fighting for veterans and their benefits as an attorney
  • Why it is crucial to build libraries in Vietnam and give people the freedom to have access to information
  • Becoming more in tune with the cultural aspects of Vietnam

Resources Mentioned:

This episode is brought to you by…

The Orban Foundation for Veterans is dedicated to bringing greater hope, understanding, resolution, and togetherness on issues of civilian readjustment for all military veterans and their families. Orban Foundation for Veterans promotes the importance of education, identification, understanding, acceptance, and resolution of many of the complex and severe responses to war and military life.

Visit our website to learn more about the Orban Foundation for Veterans and to support our mission.

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