Holmdel, NJ – The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation (NJVVMF) will host a monthly webinar series, Third Thursday VetChat, featuring a one-on-one interview with New Jersey Vietnam Veteran volunteers. The series will begin on Thursday, February 18, 7:30 p.m., and continue on the third Thursday of each month throughout the closure of the Vietnam Era Museum.
Third Thursday VetChats will be held via Zoom and are free and open to the public. Each webinar will be moderated by NJVVMF Trustee Melissa Ziobro, Specialist Professor of Public History at Monmouth University. Each month, a different New Jersey Vietnam Veteran Volunteer will share their story and memories of the Vietnam War. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions via the Q&A function, which will be answered throughout the program.
The goal of each webinar is to share important stories of first-hand experiences from the Veterans’ service during the Vietnam War in a virtual setting, since the Vietnam Era Museum remains closed to the public and group tours are not permitted at this time. The webinar series will give a voice to Veterans who have been isolated and unable to share their stories throughout the pandemic.
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The first webinar will feature Bill “Doc” McClung, an NJVVMF volunteer tour guide since 2009. McClung was drafted into the U.S. Army from his hometown of Kearny, New Jersey, in June 1968. He served as a Combat Medic in Vietnam from June 1969 to June 1970. Through sharing his stories for the past 12 years at the Memorial, McClung is able to talk about his first-hand experiences in the War without judgement or remorse.
“As someone who is diagnosed with PTSD, this is my therapy,” said McClung. “This is an opportunity to pass on the realities and history of the Vietnam War, and the culture of the Vietnam era to younger generations. I don’t talk about Vietnam at home with my family, so having this outlet allows me to voice my experiences to those that are interested in hearing about them.”
While the Museum reminds closed, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with social distancing and safety guidelines in place. Masks are required for all visitors, and groups, gatherings, and tours of any kind are prohibited. There is currently no restroom or indoor access at the Memorial. The full list of safety precautions can be found HERE.
Promotional images and Veteran photos are linked HERE.
ABOUT THE NEW JERSEY VIETNAM VETERANS’ MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
Since 1995, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial has provided a place to remember and honor the 1,563 New Jerseyans who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War. Each year the Foundation welcomes thousands of visitors and guests to dozens of ceremonies, educational, and outreach programs. The adjacent Vietnam Era Museum is the first and only educational center and museum of its kind in the United States. Dedicated in September 1998, the Museum is devoted solely to gaining an understanding of the conflict in Southeast Asia and the surrounding political strife in America.