Vietnam War

Coming in September to WXXI-TV, The Vietnam War is an immersive, ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that tells the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never-before been told on film.

These stories from WXXI News help to shape an understanding of the reasoning and impact from The Vietnam War ahead of the documentary in September. You can find more on the upcoming documentary including a 30-minute preview at WXXI.org/Vietnam.

This Veterans Day, we're discussing a new drama written by a man who has spent years helping veterans readjust to post-war life in America.

Tom Bird is the playwright of Bearing Witness, which opened Thursday at the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre. The show includes reference to Tom's father, a doctor who helped liberate the Mauthausen Concentration Camp near the end of WWII.

Bird is a Vietnam veteran who recalls his own wartime experience. We sit down with him for this timely discussion.


Local Veterans Commemorated the 20th Anniversary of the Greater Rochester Vietnam Veterans Memorial Saturday afternoon.

The event recognizes the many lives that have been touched since its inception in 1996.

Chuck Macaluso, President of the Board for the Memorial, said it’s a place for not only Vietnam veterans, but all veterans to gather.

"Work on their thoughts, cause everyday many of us return to that, you don’t forget something that’s that traumatic in your life. So it’s a place to go and reflect."

Born In the USA is perhaps one of the most misunderstood songs in American history. This week, we've heard several radio stations play it as an homage to American greatness at the Olympics. Someone should tell them the song is about how awful our country was to Vietnam veterans.

But that has us wondering: what are the most mistaken or misunderstood pieces of art across the genres? From music to painting to poetry to literature, our panel tells us where we're routinely going wrong. (We're looking at you, Guy With the Road Not Taken Poster.) Our guests:

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Rochester is making progress when it comes to providing help for homeless veterans. That is one of the main messages delivered at an annual  summit on veterans mental health and homelessness held at Nazareth College on Wednesday.

The progress, according to Mayor Lovely Warren, is evident by a designation the city just received. It has met a challenge issued by First Lady Michelle Obama to end veteran homelessness. Warren says cities had to achieve a status of "functional zero," which means that housing is available for all homeless veterans that seek it.

Many veterans are still waiting to see a doctor.


NEW YORK (AP) — His defiant protests helped shape Americans' opposition to the Vietnam War. And they landed The Rev. Daniel Berrigan behind bars.

The Roman Catholic priest, writer and poet, who became a household name in the U.S. in the 1960s after being imprisoned for burning draft files in a protest against the war, died Saturday. He was 94.

Berrigan died after a "long illness" at Murray-Weigel Hall, a Jesuit health care community in New York City according to Michael Benigno, a spokesman for the Jesuits USA Northeast Province.

"He died peacefully," Benigno said.

A special commemoration ceremony was held Tuesday night for Vietnam Veterans at Monroe Community Hospital.

The ceremony was one of a number of events scheduled Tuesday all over the country, with March 29th designated by the federal government to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

Ken Moore is a past president of Chapter 20 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, which covers much of the Rochester area; he’s also a combat vet who served in Vietnam in the mid-1960s.

BUFFALO (AP) The Buffalo chapter of an organization that flies World War II veterans to Washington is dissolving.

Honor Flight Buffalo posted the news on its website Friday following a vote by its board of directors.

The all-volunteer chapter was founded in 2009 and organized 18 flights carrying a total of 500 veterans.

Veronica Volk / WXXI

A statue was unveiled outside St. John Fisher College in remembrance of the only alumnus known to have died in Vietnam.

Thomas Urban Way, or Tommy, graduated from Fisher in 1966. He had a mop of curly red hair, he loved to play soccer, and by all accounts, he was one of the good ones.

His sister, Betty Bufano, remembers him fondly.

Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Dennis Cantrell/ Creative Commons License / U.S. Navy

Earlier this month, several veterans told their stories at the annual Stars and Stripes Celebration, in Rochester, an event that pays tribute to the local heroes of our Armed Forces. 

As part of WXXI's Veterans Day coverage, below are interviews with three area veterans:

--Jenkins, who served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War

--RJ, a Marine who served in Iraq in 2005

--Jerry, who served in the Navy in Vietnam.