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Welcome Remarks for "We Few: U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam"

Good afternoon, and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives to hear Nick Brokhausen talk about his new book, We Few: U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I’m very pleased you could join us, whether you are here in the theater or joining us through YouTube or C-SPAN.

Today’s program is part of a series of discussions, film programs, lectures, and other events related to the “Remembering Vietnam” exhibit upstairs in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery.

Before we bring out Nick Brokhausen, I’d like to tell you about two programs that are coming up here later this week.

Tomorrow night at 7 p.m., join us for a bipartisan discussion about how citizen movements have influenced policymakers. In a program called “Citizen Engagement in America’s History,” citizen activists will join a panel with former members of Congress to discuss civic engagement, civic education, and how to petition the government.

Then on Thursday, June 21, at noon, as a Robert F. Kennedy Legacy Program, we will hear from Kerry Kennedy about her new book about her father, Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope. Using interviews with those who have been inspired by him, Kennedy brings to life RFK’s values and passions. A book signing will follow the program.

To learn more about these and all of our public programs and exhibits, consult our monthly Calendar of Events online at Archives.gov. Check our website or sign up at the table outside the theater to get email updates. You’ll also find information about other National Archives programs and activities.

Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Pick up your application for membership in the lobby or become a member online at archivesfoundation.org.

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Now I ask all Vietnam veterans or any United States veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, to stand and be recognized.

Veterans, as you exit the McGowan Theater after today’s program, National Archives staff and volunteers will present each of you with the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin. On the back of the pin is embossed:

“A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You.”

The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration is a national initiative, and the lapel pin is the nation’s lasting memento of thanks.

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As I mentioned earlier, this program is related to our special exhibit, “Remembering Vietnam.” For this exhibit our curatorial staff combed through National Archives records here and across the country to find the documents that tell the stories recounted in the 12 episodes of the exhibit. These records came in many forms—typed reports, photographs, audio recordings, motion picture film and videotapes, and artifacts.

“Remembering Vietnam” traces the long arc of the war—from the decisions that led to increased American involvement to the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops. But it also brings us face to face with individual stories of the people who lived, fought, and died in Vietnam.

In We Few, Nick Brokhausen brings us some of those stories from the perspective of one who served and fought side-by-side with them. His small company and its indigenous allies were the backbone of ground reconnaissance in Vietnam during the war.

Let’s hear from him now and learn the stories of those of those men and the hardships they faced.

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Nick Brokhausen served 17 years in the U.S. military. After his time in Military Assistance Command Vietnam—Studies and Observations Group, he participated in missions as diverse as being part of mobile training teams sent to countries in Africa and South America, and later within the divided city of Berlin, and as a member of the first counterterrorist unit in the U.S. military.

Since leaving the military, Nick has built several businesses that provide training to law enforcement and the military as well as consulting for the resource development community. He has developed business interests in software and cybersecurity, waste-to-energy and power-plant projects, as well as products such as the ballistic shield used by law enforcement, and armored vehicles.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Nick Brokhausen.