Dr. Jim Willbanks, director of the CGSC Dept. of Military History, presented the first lecture in the Vietnam War Commemoration Lecture Series on March 23, 2016, at the Riverfront Community Center in downtown Leavenworth, Kansas.
As part of this first lecture program, Col. Andrew Shoffner, Fort Leavenworth garrison commander, presented each Vietnam veteran present with a lapel pin from the DoD Vietnam War Commemoration program to welcome them home.
The new lecture series is presented by CGSC’s Dept. of Military History, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leavenworth and supported by the CGSC Foundation and the Henry Leavenworth Chapter of AUSA.
Willbanks’ kick-off lecture was entitled “The Roots of U.S. Involvement in Vietnam (1941-1956).” He set the stage for U.S. involvement through a study of the country’s political and military history and concluded with a very engaged question and answer session with attendees.
American involvement in Vietnam lasted 20 years and spanned three decades – from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975. Nine million Americans, approximately 7.2 million living today, served during that period. The nation has embarked on a commemoration of the war on its 50th anniversary to recognize those that served and to help the public learn about the war and the lessons it provides. This new lecture series is in support of that commemoration.
The next lecture in the series – The Diem Years and the Early Advisory Effort (1956-1964) – will be in early Fall 2016. The Foundation will announce details nearer to the event.