Vietnam Veteran Shares a Powerful Story

Erik Andersen, Staff reporter

On Monday, Jan. 28, Vietnam War veteran Mick Guttau came into the Advanced English class to talk about both the beautiful and the ugly side of the war to the new generation of children that might be curious about what that was like.  He explained about himself joining the military and what his duties were through those tough times. Guttau wanted the students to understand the hardships of the war.

The Advanced English students recently read a book about Vietnam War. The novel is named “Fallen Angels,” and it gives an accurate view on the war and how dark it actually was. There is no fairy tale ending in war, and the students quickly found out about that.

“The story is really good, but I wanted to hear from a true war veteran to tell us what it was like in his perspective,” junior Sophie Showalter said.

Guttau would later tell a story that left the students in awe. Guttau was one of the first men to invade Laos. He explained the harsh reality and what he saw.

“I should have died that day,” Guttau proclaimed. Guttau returned to Vietnam about five years ago with his family and met some of his enemies from that day, who he became friendly with.

According to Guttau, in that very moment, the two soldiers were only doing their duty and being loyal to their countries. Their jobs were to kill the enemies and that is what they tried to do; but they did not hit each other and later came to be really good friends. That story is truly unbelievable because of the fact that those same two people met each other later on in life and did not know that they were once trying to kill each other until they talked about that war.

I feel it was good to hear it from the perspective of someone who went through it,” junior Craig Chapman said.

Students will be researching their own Vietnam topics and giving informative speeches in class to further their understanding of the complexities of the war, according to Advanced English teacher Erin Coughlin.

I think the most important topic would be talking about how our country was at the time and how we treated the soldiers who fought for us,” junior Max Hayes said.