“We Would do it Again, So You Wouldn’t Have to”: Preserving the Stories of Vietnam Veterans of Kokomo, Indiana

Valary Farmer Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Vivian Deno Butler University
Many stories of Vietnam veterans have been documented or preserved over the years, however none of them include accounts from Kokomo, Indiana. This documentation of Kokomo is important due to the fact there is such a large population of 1,390 veterans in the area -which results in the town hosting a nationwide reunion each year. At the reunions attendees often hear the phrase, “We would do it again, so you wouldn’t have to,” as veterans relive their experiences. These stories are a part of the history of Kokomo and Indiana. Despite the numerous accounts, no Howard County archives on this topic exist. “We Would do it Again, So You Wouldn’t Have to” collects the oral history of the Kokomo veterans. The anti-war sentiment and the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) they dealt with upon their return impacts the collection of these stories. For many veterans, dealing with PTSD from Vietnam led to the internalization of their experiences. My research allows these veterans an outlet for their participation in the conflict. Their stories range from graphic combat descriptions to issues of PTSD on the homefront. When we lose these veterans, we lose their stories. “We Would do it Again, So You Wouldn't Have To” details the accounts of two men through interviews, and uses their narratives to better understand the experiences of the Vietnam veterans of the Kokomo area.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

11:30 AM
Jordan Hall 278