Dublin Scioto High School students got a taste of the weight of war last week.

Dublin Scioto High School students got a taste of the weight of war last week.

As part of the Eddie Adams: Vietnam exhibition at the Dublin Arts Council Scioto seniors in the International Baccalaureate history of the Americas class participated in the workshop, "The Things They Carried."

The workshop, based on the book by Tim O'Brien, was led by Arts Council intern Megan Fitze, an arts education master's degree student at Ohio State University.

Fitze lead the workshop for 60 Centennial High School students Sept. 8 and 77 Scioto students Sept. 10.

Scioto teacher Jim Schafer said students in his International Baccalaureate class began studying World War I when school began, but they took a detour into the Vietnam War to prepare for the workshop.

"We talked about the emotional weight of serving in Vietnam," Schafer said.

"We'll compare the emotional experience with World War I and Vietnam."

Students also learned about O'Brien, who was reluctant to serve in Vietnam, but nevertheless did his duty.

"We talked about what it was like to go to war and his idea of bravery," Schafer said.

Students got a chance to tour the Eddie Adams exhibition before the workshop began, taking in images shot by the war-time photographer, including his Pulitzer-prize winning shot of a Viet Cong prisoner being executed on a street in Saigon.

The Vietnam War photos were on exhibition at the Arts Council from Memorial Day until Sept. 11.

Students called the photos gruesome and painful, but were also moved by them. Fitze led discussions on the emotional weight of the war.

"What does it have to do with you?" she asked students. "Your reaction is very important."

Students also learned many of the soldiers serving in Vietnam were not much older than them.

While in Vietnam they had to face insects, humid and rainy weather, and daylong marches through water, jungles and over mountains with heavy packs, along with the dangers war.

"The soldiers were away from their families and very young," Fitze said.

To get an idea of the physical weight the soldiers had to endure, students put on 30-pound packs, but Fitze said the soldiers in Vietnam carried much more than that.

According to information from the Arts Council, necessities weighed around 15 pounds. Coupled with items such as their helmet, boots, jacket, rifle, ammo and other weapons, soldiers carried an average of nearly 69 pounds. Other items such as maps, scopes and more ammo added to a potential weight of about 99 pounds.

Donning the equipment, students said they couldn't imagine trekking through the jungle with so much weight.

They talked about how frustrating it must have been and how difficult it would be to deal with that anger.

"For most of them, putting the 30-pound pack on is enough," Fitze said.