This piece is about one event from Ken’s story. The mountain represents the one near his military camp, and the sky shows tracer fire with smoke everywhere. The jungle represents most of Vietnam since it is mostly wilderness, and the village shows what the living conditions were like.

Meet the Veteran

Ken Kawahara worked in the military for 2 years. He served in the Vietnam War as a military policeman, and had some frightful moments. Ken was drafted into the war like a lot of the other soldiers. He did most of his training in Fort Lewis, Washington, where he and many other trainees learned to fight and do well in war. He was also at Fort Gordon for a while for some more training. During the actual war, there was one specific moment that stuck with him. One night they were on a small break, and all of a sudden one of the mountains close to their base was being fired at. He could see tracer fire coming off the mountain, helicopters everywhere, and he heard the loud bangs of bombs and explosions. Vietnam was an interesting place for a war, since it was mostly jungle and most of the roads were blocked or dangerous.

Student-created art exhibit highlighting veteran stories

Seventh grade students at Carleton W. Washburne Middle School in Winnetka turned oral histories into works of art. Forty-five students worked in groups of 4 to research and interview 11 veterans, most of whom are Cantigny Park staff members or volunteers. The art in this exhibit is inspired by these interviews.

First Division Museum Program and Exhibit staff worked with students to turn their projects into a museum exhibit with a theme, labels, title, and a gallery guide. It is currently online until we can welcome visitors back to the First Division Museum to see it in person.