Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ed Wubbena will return to Vietnam for the first time in nearly 40 years on Sunday, July 26. A Vietnam Veteran, Ed spent 364 days in Vietnam when he was 18 years old.

Since his duty in Vietnam, Ed has suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and routinely found it difficult to talk about his time in the war. By returning to the country where he endured constant hardship and suffering, Ed hopes to come to terms with the most formative year of his adult life.

The last time Ed Wubbena went to Vietnam, he left his girlfriend, Carla, in Shell Rock, Iowa. Upon returning from the war, they married. This time Carla won't stay behind. She will accompany Ed to Vietnam to see first-hand the country where he endured so much pain.

Ed and Carla will also be joined by their son, Chris Wubbena. An art professor at Southeast Missouri State University, Chris will produce a series of artwork that represents the Wubbena family's experiences in Vietnam. Chris says that the artwork will be a multimedia installation which will include sculpture, etchings, audio, and video. Chris hopes that the artwork will represent not what Vietnam was to his father, but instead the artwork will be a metaphor "of a young man’s memory of a place he knew so little about during war and as a tool to record a new lasting memory."
This KRCU blog will document the Wubbena family's journey in Vietnam as they discover what they discover. Chris will join us with audio journal entries detailing his family's thoughts and impressions as they continue forward on their process of healing.

Before leaving for Vietnam, Chris recorded an interview with KRCU's Jacob McCleland. Click here to listen to the audio.

The WCF Courier newspaper in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, Iowa wrote a two-piece article about Ed Wubbena and his family. Follow the links below to read the stories.

Photo by Rick Chase, Courier staff photograher.

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