The exhibition of photographs set to open at the Dublin Arts Council Monday, May 25, is likely to bring conflicting emotions.
The exhibition of photographs which opened May 25 at the Dublin Arts Council , is likely to bring conflicting emotions.
Eddie Adams: Vietnam is set to run through Sept. 11 at the Dublin Arts Council, 7125 Riverside Drive, and will show 50 photographs from Adams' time covering the Vietnam War, including his Pulitzer-prize winning shot of a man being executed on the streets of Saigon.
A group of veterans working with the Arts Council on the exhibition got a preview of some of the photos and it brought back memories for Vietnam veteran Jeff Noble.
"It was representative of my time," Noble said of the exhibition.
Noble spent one year in Vietnam as a pilot, supporting troops with firepower on a UH1C helicopter.
"Believe it or not there were some good times," he said.
Humor and camaraderie among troops number among the good times, as well as a job well done.
"There were times when we knew we had helped the troops on the ground and that was a good thing," he said.
Noble also saw some amazing things, including two soldiers walk away from a bad situation.
Noble was called into support troops under siege and after hitting the target twice he was told to cease fire because two U.S. soldiers were in the area.
"I couldn't believe after all this ordinance those guys were still alive," he said.
But Noble also remembered bad times, especially the third day after he arrived in Vietnam.
"We heard noise on the charlie pad from a team getting ready to go," he said.
The team was on the ground, waiting for a storm to pass, Noble said.
"Lightening hit the fox mike (of the helicopter) and sent electricity through the whole ship," he said.
The electricity launched rockets and one went into the lead helicopter, killing the pilot and injuring others.
"It was a rude awakening to life in the war zone," Noble said.
More bad news hit Noble within weeks of arriving in the war zone: "A good friend of mine from flight school went to a different unit and on his second mission in country, his helicopter was destroyed by enemy fire and he died."
Noble and fellow veteran Leroy Clendenen have provided the Arts Council with stories of their time in the Vietnam War for the exhibit and a booth will be set up to take other stories and recollections.
The public will also be invited to write letters to service members and veterans. Workshops on Tim O'Brien's book "The Things They Carried" are slated for August and will discuss the physical and emotional weight of war.
Counselors will also be available at peak times during the exhibit to offer guidance.
The photos could bring mixed reactions, and Noble offered advice for talking to Vietnam Veterans there: "Walk up and say 'Welcome home and thank you for your service.' "