A Firsthand View of the Vietnam War – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

A Firsthand View of the Vietnam War

Students at Hobart and William Smith Colleges offered opportunity to talk with Vietnam War veterans

(Oct. 6, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.–A group of Vietnam veterans from the Vietnam Veterans of America Rochester chapter will present a talk at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26, in Albright Auditorium on the Hobart and William Smith campus. The talk is free and the public is invited.

“Our goal is to share our history with a new generation of students who can benefit from a firsthand look at our experiences, says veteran Geno Lenyk, of Rochester. “We hope to share the history of 'our war' in a manner that's a little more animated than textbooks.”

Lenyk says that the six or so members who will attend the discussion at Hobart and William Smith will express their personal points of view as individual veterans. The Rochester chapter serves Monroe, Genesee, Orleans, Ontario and Wayne counties.

The forum is being organized by Political Science Professor Craig Rimmerman. The structure of the visit is for the veterans to make a few introductory comments and then to open the floor to questions.

The event was organized for the first time last year as a result of an intense conversation during Rimmerman's Introduction to American Politics class. Rimmerman posed the question “What issue might galvanize college students to be more interested in politics?” One student, Adam Chaput '07 of Framingham, Mass., responded that the draft would be a prime motivator.

“I then had a teachable moment,” says Rimmerman, “one which I hope will continue with this discussion.”

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 20 in Rochester is one of the largest, most active local chapters of the national Vietnam Veterans of America organization. The chapter assists local Vietnam-era veterans in enhancing their lives, and also helps strengthen and improve the community in different ways.

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