Gaining Perspective on the Vietnam War

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After interviewing local Vietnam veterans, Shore Road students in Graceann McClenahan’s fifth-grade class not only gained perspective on the Vietnam War, but made friends in the process.

The veteran interviews took place after the class’s reading of Patti Sherlock’s historical fiction novel “Letters from Wolfie.” The novel, set in 1969 with the Vietnam War still raging, relays the sacrifice, loyalty and patriotism of dog owner Mark, who sent his German shepherd to the army to be a scout dog. During follow-up discussions of the book, the students learned about the draft, dodging and the repercussions of the war. 

As an extension of their Vietnam War learning experience, the students then interviewed local veterans and wrote reports based on the information acquired. On Dec. 8, the students gave formal presentations and invited the veterans back to the school to hear their reports.   

“This war was not so far in the past,” said Ms. McClenahan. “Having the veterans speak to the students made the Vietnam War more relevant and will be an experience they will not likely forget.”