‘The Vietnam War’ on Maine Public

The Documentary

The Vietnam War is a ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. In an immersive 360-degree narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. The Vietnam War features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

Members of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade on an armored personnel carrier, 1968.
Credit Bob and Chuck Riddle

Click HERE for support opportunities for veterans in crisis.

Click HERE to view submitted Courageous Conversations.

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Click HERE for broadcast and on-demand viewing opportunities for The Vietnam War.

Community Events

In August and September, Maine Public held free screenings of portions of The Vietnam War documentary across the state in Camden, Portland, Bangor, Falmouth, Presque Isle, and Damariscotta. Many of these were accompanied by community discussions about the human experience during the Vietnam War.

Adria O. Horn, director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans' Services, served as the moderator for each of these type of screenings and engaged a rotating panel of individuals who either participated in the war, protested against the conflict, or currently work with veterans across Maine. Panelists included Chris Beam, Ron Deprez, Jim Doherty, Nathaniel Grace, Kirk Grant, Scott Hutcherson, Bill Jefferson, Melanie Morin, Karen Olson, and Hank Schmelzer.

Photo Galleries

Click on the links below to view photos of each moderated screening event.

Adria Horn

Adria Horn graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York in 2001. She commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Military Police Corps and served in various positions as both a military police officer and a psychological operations officer. She deployed five times in support of the Global War on Terror. In 2011, she separated from active duty and moved to Maine. Adria is a lieutenant colonel and individual reservist in the U.S. Army Reserve and currently serves as a future operations planner for the U.S. Pacific Command. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University. In her previous position, she worked for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.

Adria is married to Lokie Horn, a South Africa native. Together, they have two young daughters, Ava and Juliette. They live on a farm in Pittston, Maine.

Panelists

  • Chris Beam enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in his senior year of college and served on active duty from September 1967 to May 1970. In Vietnam he was a motor transport platoon commander with the 1st Marine Division from late 1968 to July 1969.

    After leaving the military, he earned a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has since devoted his professional life to the study of the past as an archivist and teacher.

    From 1977 to 1988, he worked at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. There he spent more than four years working on the staff that processed the Nixon White House tapes. The experience of listening to hundreds of hours of discussions between Pres. Nixon and various officials deepened his understanding of the conflict that marked a watershed of his life and that of the nation. He was able to gain insights into formulation of U.S. policy in the early 1970s, the way the war played out at home, and the intricate diplomatic interactions that influenced Vietnam policymaking during the Nixon era.

    In 1988, he became director of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives at Bates College, to oversee the processing of and access to the papers of a leading U.S. senator while the U.S. was embroiled in the conflict. He retired from Bates in 2007.

    Based on his professional background and personal experience, he has been able to teach many courses on the history of the Vietnam War, first at Bates College and later at the University of Southern Maine, Central Maine Community College, University of New England and American Public University System. Other courses he has led — on modern America and Western civilization and the Nixon presidency — have also covered the conflict.

    He is a native of Brunswick and now resides in Lewiston with his wife. They have three grown children and several grandchildren.

    His hobbies include outdoor activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, hiking and backpacking, canoeing and kayaking, bicycling, swimming, and gardening.

  • Ron Deprez was born in Lewiston, ME in a working-class family. He grew up in Portland and now lives in Deer Isle. He raised two children, Real and Esme’ who both live in California. Deprez is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College where he was captain of the football team and all conference fullback. He holds an MA and Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is the President of the Public Health Research Institute that he founded in 1991; and is an Associate Research Professor at the University of New England (UNE) where he led a health research program for 10 years.

    He has lectured and consulted all over the US, with WHO in Geneva and in Africa and the Middle East in chronic disease practice improvements, disease surveillance systems and population health assessments. He is a leader in the development of rural and international partnerships aimed at addressing chronic disease through quality improvements at the practice, patient and community levels. His international experience includes health projects in Mali, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, The Gambia, Egypt, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Ethiopia and China.

    He is a part time photographer, cyclist, runner, skier, yogi and swimmer.

  • Jim Doherty joined the VA Maine Healthcare Team in 2003 and works for the Center Director in a wide range of collateral duties assisting Maine Veterans.
  • Nathaniel Grace, master sergeant, master religious affairs NCO, Joint Force Headquarters, Maine Army National Guard. As the Senior Religious Affairs NCO for the Augusta based Joint Force Headquarters of the Maine Army National Guard, MSG Nathaniel E. Grace has served in the Maine Army National Guard for 24 years.

    In his current position, he takes a lead role providing religious supports to the Maine Army National Guard. He also provides resource and referral with community partners in promoting the coalition known as Maine Military & Community Network. This network of State, Federal and private advocates provide support to Maine service members, Veterans and their families.

    He was deployed with the 240th Engineer Group to Bagram Afghanistan from January of 2006 through April of 2007, as the Combined Task Force Chamberlain Chaplain Assistant, supervising up to 13 subordinate Chaplain Assistants and serving nearly 5,000 soldiers.

    He was also deployed with the 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion to Kandahar, Afghanistan from January of 2009 to January of 2010 as the Intelligence Sergeant supervising up to six intelligence analysts and eight interpreters. Responsibilities included preparing and conducting intelligence briefs for the Battalion Commander and the Soldiers traveling on the roads of Southern and Western Afghanistan.

    The experience of two deployments to Afghanistan helps MSG Grace to connect with the very real challenges associated with being away from home, family and church for long periods. Nathaniel volunteers as a Ski Patrol at Hermon Mountain and volunteers each week in support of his local church.

    MSG Grace has received the following decorations, awards and citations: Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2), Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (5), National Defense Service Medal (2) , Afghan Campaign Medal (3), Global War On Terrorism Service, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/M Device (2), Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (3), Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon (3), NATO Medal (2), Maine National Guard Physical Fitness Ribbon, Maine National Guard Academic Award, Maine National Guard Ice Guard Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Citation (2).

  • Kirk Grant
    Kirk Grant has been the Director of the Bangor Vet Center since early 2014, serving Veterans & their family members. Prior to this he was a Readjustment Counselor at the Portland Vet Center for close to four years. He is an OEF Veteran of the US Army where he served as a communications paratrooper for 9 years including multiple deployments supporting the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) while stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA. Kirk Grant got his BSW & MSW and was an honor graduate of the University Of Maine School Of Social Work.
  • Scott Hutcherson
    Scott Hutcherson, LCPC, ACS, director, Lewiston Vet Center, Lewiston, Maine: Scott served in the U.S. Navy as a photographer’s mate second class (E-5) from 1976-1984. He was assigned to the Destroyer Tender, USS Sierra, AD-18 which deployed twice overseas to the Mediterranean and Africa; then was assigned to the USS Saratoga, CV-60, TDY for technical support. Scott was thereafter stationed at NAS Patuxent River assigned to the air wing flying in F-4 Phantom jet fighters (as chase planes) completing mopic of test pilot aircraft and fixed wing and rotor mishaps. Upon separation from service, Scott attended college, receiving his associates degree in 1988 from Southern Maine Community College in law enforcement. Scott went on to complete a BA in psychology and master's in clinical counseling from the University of Southern Maine. After college Scott worked for a decade as a correctional counselor at Long Creek Juvenile Detention Center. He then was the first mental health police liaison to the Portland Police Department specializing in working with clients in crisis. He was promoted to director of crisis at Ingraham Crisis Services, where he remained until leaving to be the program manager for adult and elder services at Community Counseling Center, where he specialized in trauma therapies and was the DBT team leader. In 2014 Scott was promoted to senior program manager overseeing three counseling and case management offices. Throughout his career Scott has supported and advocated for our veterans and had co-chaired the Maine Military Clinical Outreach Network for over a decade. His agency served over 700 veterans and their family members in the 10+ years he was there. Most recently Scott joined the Lewiston Vet Center as its director in December 2015. Scott is continuing his passion to serve veterans, running groups and individual readjustment counseling.
  • Bill Jefferson

    Bill Jefferson

  • Bill Libby is a retired Major General whose last assignment was Adjutant General of the Maine National Guard. He was commissioned as a 2LT from the University of Maine ROTC program and served 10 years on Active Duty to include Vietnam in 1968-69 as a Field Artillery Officer in the First Cavalry Division. Upon leaving active duty, he joined the Maine Army National Guard. His “hat trick” of most interesting/challenging assignments include his tour in Vietnam, serving as an ROTC Instructor at the University of Massachusetts and watching Dr. J play for the UMass team and Commanding the engineer Task Force Fuertes Camino 94 in Guatemala.
  • Melanie Morin, MD is a staff psychiatrist at VA Maine – Togus. She is also a MAJ in the United States Army Reserves. Dr. Morin grew up in Augusta, Maine, then completed her undergraduate studies in Biology/Biochemistry at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She went to medical school at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Just prior to 9/11, she was commissioned into the United States Army as a 2LT through the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). Upon graduation, she completed internship and residency in Psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, where she treated hundreds of wounded soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. After residency, she transitioned to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where she served as the Associate Chief of Mental Health Services. She was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 where her primary duties were detainee operations at the Detainment Facility in Parwan (DFIP) at Bagram Air Field (BAF). Upon completion of her active duty obligation in 2013, having a one year old, Dr. Morin returned home to Maine to be closer to family. She worked at Maine General Medical Center as a staff psychiatrist for two years while in the Army Reserves and drilling with the Maine Army National Guard. Two years ago, she transitioned to full-time employment at the VA. She currently lives in Augusta with her husband, two young children, and two dogs. In her little free time, she is an avid weightlifter and enjoys competing in Strongman competitions as well as spending time at her camp on Togus Pond.

  • Karen Olson, M.D., is a psychiatrist who has worked for the Veteran’s Administration for the last four years, initially at the Saco VA Community Clinic and currently at the Portland Community VA Clinic. When she started at the VA, she was struck by the fact that many of the staff had not been born at the time of the Vietnam War. Having grown up and gone to college during that era, she felt a sense of responsibility that these veteran’s stories, which she now heard on many days, should not be lost as the veterans grew older. To that end, she talked with the VA administration and with its support went to the Maine Historical Society in Portland and proposed a project to collect Vietnam veteran’s stories and artifacts. Dr. Olson proposed the title, Maine in Vietnam, Not to be Forgotten. The Maine Historical Society took on the project, which over more than a year evolved into the Society’s ongoing project Veterans Voices, where veterans of all eras can send their own or their family’s stories. Maine VA helped to promote this ongoing endeavor.

    Dr. Olson grew up in Minnesota. She graduated from Macalester College in Minnesota with a BA in history. She volunteered in Minnesota at the Cass Lake Indian Hospital on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation while deciding whether to go back to school to take premed courses with the goal of becoming a doctor. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School. After graduation, she and her husband moved to Maine where she completed a residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Maine Medical Center. Dr. Olson spent the majority of her career in private practice in Portland and Cumberland.

    With the perspective of a civilian woman who experienced the tumult of life in the continental US, particularly as a college student, during the Vietnam War, Dr. Olson now works with veterans who will always feel the effects of serving in and coming home from Vietnam.

  • Henry L. P. “Hank” Schmelzer
    Henry L. P. “Hank” Schmelzer is an experienced leader in the non-profit and corporate communities. He was president and CEO of the Maine Community Foundation from 2000 to 2008, overseeing the growth of the foundation to almost $250 million while the foundation developed a focus on issues relating to higher education, aging, the environment, and community engagement. Mainebiz named Hank the 2007 Maine Business Leader of the Year. Prior to entering the field of philanthropy, he practiced corporate and securities law in Boston, becoming Vice President and Counsel of New England Mutual Life Insurance Company. He transitioned from law to business management and from 1991 to 1998 served as president and CEO of the New England Mutual Funds. Hank graduated from the University of Maine and George Washington University Law School. In 1999 he was a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard where he conducted research on the regulation of hedge funds. He has been on many corporate and non-profit boards over the years, including serving on the Board of Overseers of the University of Maine and as chair of the Board of Trustees of Maine Public Broadcasting Network. He is currently on the boards of the College of the Atlantic, University of Maine Foundation, and Friends of Acadia. Hank was a Captain in the U.S. Army (military intelligence) and served in Vietnam where he received a bronze star with oak leaf cluster and the Vietnamese cross for gallantry. He is an avid skier, hiker and student of Italian language and culture.

Courageous Conversations

1st Cavalry Division on patrol, March 1968.
Credit Phil Gioia

Maine Public is encouraging Vietnam Veterans and anyone affected by the conflict to share their own story on the Vietnam War and correspondence they had during or after the war. Submissions can be written, recorded or videotaped and sent to Maine Public at mystory@mainepublic.org. The stories will be collected and archived here and some may be shared with the greater Maine audience.

Click HERE to view submitted courageous conversations.

Student-Read Courageous Conversations

Maine Public is partnering with a number of Maine high school and college students to record some of the submitted courageous conversations. These will be archived here on mainepublic.org and will air on Maine Public Television and over social media. If you are interested in being one of the readers, contact Cory Morrissey at cmorrissey@mainepublic.org.

Maine Public's community efforts around and broadcast of The Vietnam War is possible, in part, due to the support of these three Maine Public partners:

Credit Highland Green