NEENAH - History came alive this week for students at Neenah High School.
More than a dozen area veterans shared their experiences about what it was like to be in a war zone.
The history lesson began in 1968 when a young Army medic landed in Vietnam. Mike Weaver was just 20 years old.
"There's so little taught in the high school, in depth anyway, about so many of our wars and conflicts. This is a living history," said Mike Weaver, Vietnam veteran.
Vietnam veterans recalled personal stories and shared a wartime display. It featured photos, and memorabilia from Southeast Asia.
"For our students, a lot of these wars are so long ago. It brings a connection there. With Memorial Day coming, the patriotic, the respect for our veterans, our country," said Deb Gauthier, Neenah High School history teacher.
More than a dozen veterans spoke Wednesday to about 450 students at Neenah High School.
"There's World War II, Korea, Vietnam, I believe vets that served in Iraq as well as Afghanistan are here today too," said Weaver.
Students say the event offered them much more than what they might get in a classroom setting.
"To hear it or just read it on the Internet is something that just doesn't really, you can get something out of it, but not as much," said Dustin Hagen, Neenah High School Junior.
"Seeing it live, and seeing the real stories, and their feelings towards it, was definitely a lot more than just a classroom," said Jenny Johnson, a Neenah High School Junior.
"The stories that these veterans tell, are amazing. What they've gone through, what they were willing to do for our country," said Gauthier.
Some veterans say reliving the past can be emotional, but therapeutic as well.
"The way we were mistreated when we returned from Vietnam by our country has made a lot of us internalize this and not speak about it for 20, 30, 40 years. But now we are, and so it's beginning to open that up, and getting rid of all that negativism, and it's a healing process for us," said Weaver.
This is the 13th year of the program.
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