KRCU Follows a Veteran’s Experience as He Returns to Vietnam

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 29, 2009 — KRCU will follow the experiences of Southeast Missouri State University faculty member, Chris Wubbena, as he travels to Vietnam with his father and mother.

KRCU will periodically broadcast Chris’s “audio journal entries,” documenting his parents’ travels, at 8:49 a.m. during NPR’s “Morning Edition.”  You can also see photos and follow the Wubbenas on the “Speaking While Listening” blog at www.krcu.org.

Chris’s father, Ed Wubbena, is a Vietnam War veteran. He spent 364 days in Vietnam when he was 18 years old. When he arrived in Vietnam this week, it was the first time he had been there in nearly 40 years.

Since his duty in Vietnam, Ed has suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and routinely found it difficult to talk about his time in the war. By returning to the country where he endured constant hardship and suffering, Ed hopes to come to terms with the most formative year of his adult life.

The last time Ed Wubbena went to Vietnam, he left his girlfriend, Carla, in Shell Rock, Iowa. Upon returning from the war, they married. This time Carla did not stay behind. She is accompanying Ed to Vietnam to see firsthand the country where he endured so much pain.

A sculpture professor at Southeast Missouri State University, Chris Wubbena will produce a series of artwork that represents the Wubbena family’s experiences in Vietnam. Chris says that the artwork will be a multimedia installation which will include sculpture, etchings, audio and video. Chris hopes the artwork will represent not what Vietnam was to his father, but instead the artwork will be a metaphor “of a young man’s memory of a place he knew so little about during war and as a tool to record a new lasting memory.”