November 13, 2018 Veterans History Project Launches New Online Exhibit on Vietnam War Photography
Press Contact: Benny Seda-Galarza (202) 707-8732
Public Contact: Megan Harris (202) 707-8205 | Lisa Taylor (202) 707-2333
Website: Personal Snapshots: Picturing the Vietnam War
The Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP) today launched “Personal Snapshots: Picturing the Vietnam War,” an online “Experiencing War” website feature highlighting 12 collections that document veterans’ wartime experiences. In addition to oral histories and written correspondence, the collections include candid, amateur photographs.
Taken either for posterity or as keepsakes for loved ones on the home front, the images range from serene to silly and from hijinks to horrific.Though broad in scope, what the photographs share details and nuance that might otherwise be forgotten or left out of a veteran’s oral history interview.
One of the collections included in “Personal Snapshots: Picturing the Vietnam War” is that of G. Mike Mabe, a self-described “low-rank infantryman” who served with the 101st Airborne Division.
His photographs depict scenes of his everyday life in Vietnam: pulling kitchen patrol duty, interactions with Vietnamese civilians and eating military-issued canned goods – also known as c-rations – on the hood of his jeep. Mabe’s snapshots bring to life the written memoir that he also donated to VHP as part of his collection.
Richard Segovia, another veteran who served with the 101stAirborne, documented his time in Vietnam through 210 snapshots, and their hand-written captions are nearly as telling as the photographs. The inscriptions include references to service members’ nicknames, and sometimes to their fates, such as those who were later killed in action or who received wounds that earned them a transfer home.
Aida Sanchez’s photographs convey the more grim realities of war. As an Army physical therapist, Sanchez was sent to Vietnam to establish the first physical therapy clinic in the 95thEvacuation Hospital. Although she did not render services on a battlefield, the war is ever-present in her photographs. The photos include portraits of her wearing a helmet and flak jacket, to scenes of her treating both military and civilian casualties, including Vietnamese children.
To get a glimpse of the Vietnam War through the eyes of those who served in it, access “Personal Snapshots” here: loc.gov/vets/stories/ex-war-snapshots-vietnam.html.
Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand remembrances of United States war veterans from WWI through the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. For more information, visit loc.gov/vets/ or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848. Subscribe to the VHP RSS to receive periodic updates of VHP news. Follow VHP on Facebook, go to @vetshistoryproject.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.