Rachel Goossen’s “American War” brown bag questions point-of-view

Professor Rachel Goossen spent part of May and June touring the nation of Vietnam during a Sweet Sabbatical in 2016 and shared about her trip during an International Brown Bag Lecture on Mar. 8 at the International House.

Goossen and her husband, Duane, went on a tour from North to South, visiting sites that were significant to the history of the nation.

“The first thing that people should know about the war is that in Vietnam it is called the ‘American’ War by everyone,” Professor Goossen said.

Goossen presented pictures that she and her husband took and talked in depth about some of the sights and stops. One in particular that stood out to many was of a map of the nation with dots that each of which represented a site where an American bomb fell. Most of the dots cluttered around the southern half of Vietnam.

“Most people think of the war being fought primarily in the north, but we had a significant presence in the southern half of the country,” Professor Goossen said.

In attendance were a variety of people including students, faculty and members of the community. One such attendee was local Topeka resident and Washburn Tech faculty member, Kathryn Stroebele. She came because of a friend with ties to Vietnam.

“She lived there as a nurse for about ten years and goes back at least once a year,” Stroebele said. “I saw this advertised and thought it seemed very interesting.”

Stroebele’s friend has even asked if she would like to go.

“It seems like such a beautiful place and the prices for going are very reasonable,” Stroebele said. “I’m really thinking about going.”

The International House is hosting it’s next International Brown Bag Lecture on Korea at noon on Mar. 29.