VVFH History

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Vietnam Veterans for Factual History
VVFH Logo
Vietnam Veterans for Factual History
Abbreviation VVFH
Formation January 8, 2014; 4 years ago (2014-01-08)
Type 501(C)(3) Educational nonprofit
Purpose Education regarding the
2nd Indochina War
Website https://www.vvfh.org/

Vietnam Veterans for Factual History (VVFH) is an American educational group dedicated to promoting an accurate view of the history of the Vietnam War. Founded in 2014, the group is a project of the Radix Foundation,[1] a 501(c)(3) organization based in Texas.

History

In 2004, some Vietnam veterans were in an uproar over John Kerry's Presidential campaign. In May, the Swift Vets For Truth held their first press conference, condemning Kerry's antiwar statements and questioning his medals.[2] In late July, a group of veterans met in Boston[3] to discuss John Kerry's candidacy as well as a number of issues about the orthodox history[4] of the Vietnam War that they felt were in error. The result of that conference was the Boston Manifesto,[5][6][7] a statement by the group declaring their outrage over the nomination of John Kerry to be President of the United States.

Angry veterans sought to combat both the candidacy of John Kerry[8][9] and to correct what they believed were falsehoods being told about the war. In attendance at the conference were a number of Vietnam veterans, including Medal of Honor recipients, former Prisoners of War, the keynote speaker, Rear Admiral Jeremiah Denton, B.G. "Jug" Burkett, author of Stolen Valor, Scott Swett[10] and "Bill" Bell.[11][12]

In part, the manifesto stated that "For four days beginning on July 26, 2004, a group of Vietnam veterans, scholars, and experts— including recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, several former Special Forces officers and enlisted men, and veterans who have taught about the war at the high school, college, and graduate school levels — gathered at a small college in Boston to examine the “Myths of the Vietnam War.”* Their hope was to take advantage of the renewed interest in the war resulting from the expected nomination of Senator John F. Kerry as the Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States to promote a national dialogue about Vietnam, its myths, and legitimate lessons."

After the defeat of John Kerry, due, in part, to veterans votes,[13] efforts took place to advance the concerns of these veterans regarding the history of the war. Eventually, the group Vietnam Veterans for Factual History (VVFH) was formed. Its stated purpose was to correct what its members believe to be myths[14] about the war as well as what they viewed as a skewed historical perspective developed by members of academia who were not only historians but antiwar activists. It was the belief of these veterans that academia was biased in its telling of the war's history, and they felt they could provide a corrective to that narrative. In their view, the orthodox view of the war was that it was unnecessary, immoral, illegal, ineffective, and unwinnable.[15] They took issue with all those views and sought to provide a counternarrative using primary sources, historical research and the experiences of veterans who served in that conflict. The group believes Guenter Lewy's statement from 35 years ago, "Mythology, half-truth and falsehood concerning events in Vietnam abound and, unless corrected, will enter the textbooks for the mis-education of our children,"[16] has come to pass.[17] [18]

Histories of the 2nd Indochina War

Several members have written notable histories of the war. These histories are often considered revisionist[19][20] by what are called "orthodox" historians. It is the contention of VVFH that many histories of the war were written by professors (like Marilyn Young) who were antiwar activists before they were professors, and their antiwar views have colored their views and interpretation of the sources they use to write histories of the war. The first "revisionist" historical analysis of the U.S. Phase of the Second Indochina War was a 1978 book titled America in Vietnam by Dr. Guenter Lewy. In 1999, a historical analysis of the war from mid-1968 to mid-1972 titled A Better War[21] was written by Dr. Lewis Sorley, a founding member of VVFH. That same year a partially revisionist historical analysis of the geopolitical background of the U.S. phase of the war titled Vietnam: the Necessary War[22] was written by Michael Lind. In 2006, a historical analysis of the war from 1954 to 1965 titled Triumph Forsaken[23] was written by Dr. Mark Moyar, another member of VVFH. In 2010, a historical analysis of the war in the critical year of 1968 titled This Time We Win[24] was written by James Robbins, another founding member of VVFH. That same year a brief summary of the war from 1954 to 1972 titled The Politically Incorrect Guide to The Vietnam War[25] was written by Phillip Jennings. Jennings is also a founding member. And in 2017, a history of Ngo Dinh Diem titled The Lost Mandate of Heaven[26] was written by Dr. Geoffrey DT Shaw, another member.

Membership

Members of VVFH include World War II veterans, Korean War veterans, Vietnam veterans and younger veterans, as well as accomplished historians, journalists, national security experts and legal scholars such as Robert F Turner,[27] Lewis Sorley, Geoffrey DT Shaw,[28] Mark Moyar, Michael Lee Lanning, Ton That Thien, Sol Sanders, William L Stearman, James S. Robbins and Roger Soiset.[29] Other members include former prisoners of war, former and retired Marine, Navy, Army and Air Force officers including SOG, former CIA officers, former U.S.A.I.D. employees and others who served in the war, as well as veterans and civilians with an interest in the history of the war.

Many VVFH members have published books on the war. See our website for a complete list of their published works.[30]

VVFH has published an annual history of the war for the past four years and continues to produce annual volumes for each year of the conflict, ending in 1975 with the fall of the Republic of Vietnam.[31]

Current and ongoing activities

VVFH is actively involved in producing a series of books about the war, each one covering one year of the conflict. These books are designed to coincide with the ongoing 50th Anniversary activities coordinated by the US federal government.[32] In addition, current work is ongoing to document the perceived errors in the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick PBS documentary, The Vietnam War. The group has recently gained national attention with a letter challenging PBS and the Bank of America to correct the deficiencies they claim to have found in the documentary The Vietnam War.[33] [34] [35] [36] Members have also been interviewed on national programs about the documentary.[37][38][39][40]

PBS has responded to the complaint from VVFH and has stated that "the film generated a tremendous amount of attention, from the public, members of the military community and veterans, nearly all of which praised the film’s respect for our soldiers and its balance."[41]

Books by members

References

  1. Sherman, Steve. "RADIX Foundation". www.viet-myths.net. Steve Sherman. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  2. Zengerle, Jason (23 May 2004). "The Vet Wars". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 9 December 2017. 
  3. Sherman, Steve. "Viet Myths Conference". www.viet-myths.net. Steve Sherman. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  4. Preston, Andrew; Lynch, Timothy J.; Ryan, David; Barrett, David; Dumbrell, John (1 September 2013). "‘Rethinking the Vietnam War’ by John Dumbrell". International Politics Reviews. 1 (1): 37–48. ISSN 2050-2982. doi:10.1057/ipr.2013.4. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  5. Turner, Dr. Robert. "WinterSoldier.com - The Making of the Boston Manifesto". www.wintersoldier.com. www.wintersoldier.com. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  6. Swett, Scott. "SwiftVets.com :: View topic - The Boston Manifesto (Vietnam Veterans to Correct the Myths)". horse.he.net. Scott Swett. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  7. Sherman, Steve. "The Boston Manifesto" (PDF). The Wednesday Report. Vietnam Veterans to Correct the Myths. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  8. Macdonald, Robert E. "Enough is Enough: Vietnam veterans have not forgotten John Kerry | Twin City Times". twincitytimes.com. Retrieved 9 December 2017. 
  9. Reynolds, John (17 March 2005). "Strong lineup set for Vietnam event | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal". lubbockonline.com. Lubbock Avalanche Journal. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  10. Swett, Scott; Ziegler, Tim (2008). To Set The Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry. New American Media Publishing. 
  11. Bell, Garnett; Veith, George (2017). Leave No Man Behind. Amazon. 
  12. Bell, Garnett; Veith, George. "The Vietnam Center and Archive: Events". www.vietnam.ttu.edu. Texas Tech University. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  13. Teigen, Jeremy M. (1 April 2007). "Veterans' Party Identification, Candidate Affect, and Vote Choice in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election". Armed Forces & Society. 33 (3): 414–437. ISSN 0095-327X. doi:10.1177/0002764206296586. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  14. Cao, Lan (29 September 2017). "Perspective | Five myths about the Vietnam War". Washington Post. The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  15. Hopkins, George W. (2000). "Historians and the Vietnam War: The Conflict Over Interpretations Continues". Studies in Popular Culture. 23 (2): 99–108. Retrieved 9 December 2017. 
  16. Lewy, Guenter (1980). America in Vietnam. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. ix. ISBN 978-0195027327. 
  17. "Quarterly Newsletter" (PDF). The Californai Zephyr. 17–4 (Spring 2014): 5. Retrieved 27 November 2017. 
  18. Throneberry, Dale (5 September 2014). "7 September 2014-Vietnam Veterans for Factual History and National POW-MIA Week". Veterans Radio. Retrieved 29 November 2017. 
  19. Moyar, Mark. "Vietnam: Historians at War | National Association of Scholars". www.nas.org. National Association of Scholars. 
  20. Milam, Ron (11 June 2011). "Myths of the Vietnam War". Reviews in American History. 39 (2): 372–378. ISSN 1080-6628. doi:10.1353/rah.2011.0080. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  21. Sorley, Lewis (1999). A Better War: Unexamined Victories & Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam. (First ed.). Harcourt, Brace & Company. 
  22. Lind, Michael (2002). Vietnam: The Necessary War: A Reinterpretation of America's Most Disastrous Military Conflict (Reprint ed.). Free Press. ISBN 9780684870274. 
  23. Moyar, Mark (2006). Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965 (1 ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521869119. 
  24. Robbins, James (2012). This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive 1st (first) by Robbins, James S (2010) Hardcover. Encounter Books. 
  25. Jennings, Phillip (2010). Politically incorrect guide to the Vietnam War. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Pub. ISBN 978-1596985674. 
  26. Shaw, Geoffrey (2015). The Lost Mandate of Heaven: The American Betrayal of Ngo Dinh Diem, President of Vietnam. Ignatius Press. ISBN 9781586179359. 
  27. "Robert F. Turner". University of Virginia School of Law. University of Virginia. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  28. "Author: Dr. Geoffrey DT Shaw". www.ignatius.com. Ignatius Press. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  29. "KSU | Faculty Web - Roger Soiset". facultyweb.kennesaw.edu. Kennesaw University. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  30. "Books". www.vvfh.org. VVFH. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  31. "VVFH Books". Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  32. "50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration | Vietnam War Commemoration". www.vietnamwar50th.com. Department of Defense. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  33. O'Brien, Cortney (8 November 2017). "Vietnam Vets Group Lists Its Grievances With Ken Burns's PBS Documentary". Townhall. Retrieved 29 November 2017. 
  34. O'Neil, Tyler (9 November 2017). "Vietnam Veterans Set the Record Straight After PBS TV Series Whitewashes Communism". Trending. PJ Media. Retrieved 29 November 2017. 
  35. Harper, Jennifer (21 November 2017). "Inside the Beltway: Vietnam veterans challenge Ken Burns". The Washington Times. The Washington Times. Retrieved 29 November 2017. 
  36. "Vietnam veterans challenge Ken Burns on the accuracy of his epic documentary". historynewsnetwork.org. Retrieved 29 November 2017. 
  37. Hewitt, Hugh (31 October 2017). "H3: 10/31/17: Rep. Kevin Brady, Col. Andy Finlayson, Mary Eberstadt - Hughniverse - The Hugh Hewitt Show Podcast". Hughniverse - The Hugh Hewitt Show Podcast. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  38. "Vietnam War Vet Critiques Ken Burns' New PBS Documentary". The Federalist. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  39. Meyers, Bill (6 November 2017). "11-6 to 11-10-17 Bill Meyer's Blog - KMED-AM - Turning up YOUR voice - AM 1140 KMED". KMED-AM - Turning up YOUR voice - AM 1140 KMED. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  40. Sorley, Lewis. "The Joyce Kaufman Show - 850 WFTL". 850 WFTL. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  41. "PBS Response to November 7, 2017 letter" (PDF). VVFH.org. Retrieved 6 December 2017. 

External links