The American Indian Oral History and Omaha Folklore Project Oral History Collection in UNO Libraries’ Archives & Special Collections includes dozens of interviews conducted from the mid-1970s through approximately 1980 (finding aid available online). The audio recordings of these interviews have already been digitized and are currently being described to allow online access as part of the Omaha Stories project. Most of the interviewees or narrators were Native Americans or immigrants to Nebraska from European countries.
A small subset of the interviews were conducted with Omahans who were veterans of the U.S. military and had served in the Vietnam War. One of the interesting things about these interviews with veterans who served in Vietnam is that they are sharing thoughts and reflections relatively soon after their return to the U.S. from their overseas deployment – it has only been a few years since these men returned from Vietnam.
Helicopter Crew Chief Leo Koja(?) shares information about his life while he is deployed at Chu Lai in his interview. He talks about his experiences and decisions in comparison to choices made by other enlisted men. The recording also transmits to us today, 40 years later, his thoughts about the Vietnamese people and the actions of President Richard Nixon the U.S. government during the war. This first batch of oral history interviews being made available online will also include the interview with another Vietnam veteran identified only as Staff Sergeant Myan. We hope to do research to track down more information about Staff Sergeant Myan in the months ahead, but in the meantime if you think you have information about this man, please contact us!
Stay tuned for more about some of the over 200 interviews conducted from 1974 to 2007 from Omaha Stories: Oral Histories of Omaha, Nebraska.
Visit the Omaha Oral History Blogs to learn more.
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