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Veterans Day Weekend Kickoff Program Listed; Features Major National Speaker and Local Veteran

Dr. James Wright, President Emeritus of Dartmouth College, eminent historian, veteran and devoted veterans’ advocate, will headline the kickoff event in Winthrop, for Veterans Weekend activities on Thursday, November 9 at 6:30 PM at the Winthrop Public Library. Dr. Wright will be talking about his new book, “Enduring Vietnam: an American generation and its war” and will be joined by Don Sullivan, a decorated veteran of Hamburger Hill which is featured in the book. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

Ms. Diane Wallace, Director of the library, initially conceived the idea of combining Dr. Wright and Don Sullivan. “I knew of Dr. Wright’s reputation and decided to aim for having a major figure come to Winthrop as part of the library’s continuing series of programs for the community. Winthrop residents appreciate a great author, and programs of a historical nature.  I also knew that Don Sullivan, a Library Trustee, appeared in the book and has been very active in research and education about the effects of Agent Orange and the impact of PTSD. Since Jim Wright’s book emphasized the human element of enduring the Vietnam War and its aftereffects, combining Jim’s expertise with Don’s direct experiences seemed to be a perfect program.  Please join us.”

Ms. Roseanne Trionfi-Mazzuchelli, Director of the Veterans Service Office for Winthrop, commented, “This is a terrific program to kick off our weekend of activities to recognize all veterans. Jim Wright is a very well known figure in the veteran community and has given selflessly of his time and energy, including his unheralded visits to our wounded. His willingness to come to small town America and join in a program with a local veteran reflects back on his own small town America roots. He is a Marine veteran and worked many menial jobs, including as a powder boy in zinc mines to get the beginnings of his academic career.”

Wright, in discussing the Winthrop event said that he started out writing a different book than “Enduring Vietnam” turned out to be. He believes that our nation and our people do not have a full understanding of what our veterans and their families endured during and after the Vietnam War, nor what the entire “baby boomer”  generation experienced. This book describes the steps that led the United States into the war but it differs from other histories in its rich detail of the experience of those who served there, including their reflections on coming home from the war. He believes that this unique program in Winthrop combines the breadth of events and many people with the profoundly personal experiences of one individual who I believe represents many, many others.”

Sullivan is expected to talk briefly about the effects of Agent Orange as well as the nature of PTSD and what resources are available to diagnose and treat it no matter whether the origin of the PTSD is combat or other trauma related. Sullivan, a Winthrop native, has been awarded over 16 medals, etc. including the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge. He believes that “this unique program in Winthrop combines the breadth of events and many people with the profoundly personal experiences of one individual who I know represents many, many others.”

Dr. James Wright is President Emeritus and Eleazar Wheelock Professor of History Emeritus at Dartmouth College and the author or editor of several books, including Those Who Have Borne the Battle. His efforts on behalf of veterans and education have been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, NPR, and more. He serves on the Board of the Semper Fi Fund/America’s Fund, the Advisory Board of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and has been a member of the Campaign Leadership Committee for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Education Center.  He recently completed service on the board of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

Transcript Staff: