Vietnam Class Visits Washington D.C.


“The moment that I was taken by was to see Colonel Loizer etch the name of his best friend who was killed, and the emotion that he showed. That moment brought the wall to life and helped me realize they are not just names,” said senior Dan Kubus. Visiting the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. brought what students had learned in the Vietnam class to life right before their eyes.

On March 29, 2012, 23 Vietnam students along with teachers and Vietnam Veterans, traveled to Washington D.C. to visit the Vietnam Memorial and other famous places in and around the D.C. Area. This trip is offered to all students enrolled in the Vietnam class.

They visit the memorial because it shows 58,000 names, 58,000 lives that were disrupted because of war. The Vietnam War is a war that is often put on the back-burner or ignored by most people. The wall brings the war home to all people who have the opportunity to see it. It also gives reverence and respect to fallen heroes. These students had the unique opportunity to experience the memorial for the first time just like Colonel Loizer, a Vietnam Veteran, did.

For the past two trips to D.C., Veterans accompanied students on the trip. “Having Veterans on the trip added enormously to the trip,” said Vietnam teacher Mr. Wetzel. “It was an invaluable experience, and I had to take a step back to take the whole experience in.” Having Veterans accompany students also personalized the trip for students. Throughout the year, students listened to many Veterans who shared their story with the class.

“It was very interesting to see the Veterans reactions to the memorial,” explained senior Phil Shnupp. Shnupp enrolled in the Army last year and has completed basic training. Hearing the true stories of the Vietnam War from people who experienced it, gave the Vietnam class a personal connection to what they learned in class though a textbook.