Veterans Panel and Open Mic
Thursday, November 9, 2023, 6pm – 8pm
Sioux City Art Center, Lecture Hall
Veterans from Siouxland will participate in a panel discussion and share their experiences serving during the Vietnam War. Following introductory comments from the panelists, all veterans, family members, and attendees will engage the panel in an “open mic” dialogue. This event is presented in conjunction with the Art Center’s current exhibition, Teo Nguyen: Việt Nam Peace Project, and is hosted in partnership with the week-long Veterans Week activities organized by Western Iowa Tech Community College. This exhibition and programming is supported, in part, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Iowa Arts Council.
The panelists for the event are:
John L. Mansfield served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from September 1967 to October 1968. His first assignment was as the 81mm Mortar Platoon Leader with B Company, 4th Battalion 31st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade (LIB), located southeast of Chu Lai in I Corps RVN. In November 1967, the 196th LIB, moved to the Hiep Duc/Que Son Valley Area of operations. At that time, the 81mm Mortars were consolidated into the newly formed E Company located on Hill 445 LZ West. Because of this consolidation, Mansfield was assigned as the 1stPlatoon Leader in A Company. He continued in that position until he was assigned as the Executive Officer (XO) of A Company in May 1968. He stayed in that XO position until he returned home in October 1968.
Ralph Webb enlisted in the U.S. Navy in February 1971 and went to boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago, IL. He was given orders to attend the Defense Language Institute in Washington, DC for 47 weeks to study the North Vietnamese-Hanoi dialect. Upon completion of language school in May 1972, Webb attended advanced radio school at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, TX until September 1972 and then went to Coronado, CA for various schools in preparation for Vietnam warfare and air duty, survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE), high altitude/low pressure training, water survival training. Webb was assigned to Naval Security Group Danang, Vietnam in December 1972. At the Naval Communications Station San Miguel, Philippines, he served as a customs inspector inspecting servicemen’s household goods before shipping them back to the states. Webb returned home in February 1975.
Ralph Swain enlisted in the U.S. Army in June 1967 and took basic training at Fort Dix, N.J. He then began combat medical training at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX. Swain was assigned to “permanent party” (base staff) for 18 months before being deployed to Vietnam in April 1969 where he was assigned to Headquarters & Headquarters Co., Area Command Headquarters for the U.S. Army Vietnam (USARV) in III Corps northwest of Saigon. While on duty in Vietnam, he was to a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) to defend the AFVN-TV station and on special duty with the U.S. Army Survey Team (Okinawa) to investigate black market activities involving U.S. Army post exchanges and service clubs throughout Vietnam. Off-duty, he assisted with orphanages in the Saigon area. Swain returned to the U.S. in March 1970.
You Are Me and I Am You, 2016
acrylic on vellum, mounted on aluminum
LocationSioux City Art Center, 225 Nebraska Street, Sioux City
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