Patriots Point Panel to Discuss Green Berets’ Secret Use of Tribesmen During WarChris Hauff Jul 29, 2015
On Friday, August 14th, at 7 p.m. the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum will host a symposium in which Vietnam War veterans who served as Green Berets in the Army’s Special Forces unit will discuss how the United States came to rely on oppressed tribe people known as Montagnards to help fight the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong.
Both Green Beret and Montagnard veterans will be part of an extremely rare panel that delves into the relationship between the two groups and discuss specific war stories where the ingenious people showed extreme loyalty, bravery and courage while fighting alongside American troops.
More than 60,000 Montagnards were trained by the Green Berets during the war to use modern weapons and techniques. During the progression of the war, the relationship between the two groups grew quite strong. The Green Berets admired the toughness and tenacity of the people.
“These tribe people who didn’t wear pants or shoes, were given rifles and grenades,” said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette. “The Montagnards wouldn’t have been able to pass an Army physical and join the war, yet they were asked to give everything in the fight against the Communist North. We want to help tell their stories and what they experienced after the war ended. Their loyalty was uncommon in the annals of American warfare and continues to this day.”
Following the withdraw of American troops from Vietnam, a large majority of Montagnards lost their homeland. Despite efforts by many Green Berets to facilitate an evacuation to the United States, only a couple thousand Montagnards made it – settling in North Carolina near the U.S. Army Base Fort Bragg. Those left behind continue to face persecution by the Communist forces in Vietnam today.
The Montagnards: The Green Berets’ Secret Vietnam Warriors symposium is free and will be held in the Smokey Stover Theater onboard the USS YORKTOWN. The Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is an official Vietnam War 50th anniversary commemorative partner of the Department of Defense. This program is part of the museum’s ongoing commemoration efforts of the war.
What: The Montagnards: The Green Berets’ Secret Vietnam Warriors
A symposium to discuss the secret use of tribesmen during the Vietnam War
Where: In the Smokey Stover Theater aboard the USS YORKTOWN
When: Friday, August 14th at 7 p.m.
Cost: Both admission and parking will be free
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