Minnesota musicians and veterans joined together to remember the Vietnam War through spoken word and song. Veterans took the stage to read excerpts from Doug Bradley and Craig Werner’s book, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. Minnesota musicians performed many of the songs that made up the soundtrack to the Vietnam War, celebrating music from artists like Jimi Hendrix, Buffalo Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Listen as veteran Lesley Hauser reads a piece about Donut Dollys and Red Cross Girls from We Gotta Get Out Of This Place while an all-star line-up of Minnesota musicians performs “Piece of My Heart,” originally performed by Janis Joplin.
This story is part of the collection The Call to Serve: Stories of Sacrifice, War and the Way Home, which was funded by the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation.
Writer Doug Bradley is both a Vietnam War veteran and also considers himself “part of the Woodstock generation.” In “Caught in the Devil’s Bargain,” he draws parallels between the war and the concert in an effort to show that “like so much about the 1960s, the Woodstock-Vietnam dialectic is a lot more nuanced, much more convoluted… A touch of grey if you will.”
Doug Bradley also shares the story of his friend, Jim Bodoh, a Certified Nurse Practitioner during the Vietnam War, and now a veteran who can still travel back to that time and place through a playlist of songs. Read “The answer may have been ‘Blowin’ in the Wind.’ But it wasn’t easy to find.”