NVAM Volunteer and Vietnam Veteran Ned Ricks: Revisiting the 10th Calvary, Vietnam 70-71

“When I first viewed Ken Howard’s collection of pictures, it was as if I had encountered a long lost cousin or brother and started sharing memories. We would start with, “Do you remember the time we…” And we would  end up nodding and  smiling, not so much at what had occurred, but more from the experience that someone else had the same memory, the same album of experiences and impressions in their mind as well. His work took me back over forty years to bring some of those memories to just yesterday.”

-Ned Ricks

Ned Ricks, along with being one of our most dedicated volunteers at NVAM, is a retired Major of US Army Reserve and served as the Commanding Officer of  Troop C, 1st Squadron in the 10th Calvary in Vietnam from 1970-71. We are honored to have this video as a testament to the service of Ned and his squadron. We would like to thank Ken Howard for sharing this video with us and giving permission to share it online.

The Great Artdoors: T-shirt Therapy

Today for the Great Artdoors, teens looked into the NVAM collection at Regina Vasquez, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, and and her work with Fatigues Clothesline. “Fatigues Clothesline is a vehicle which bridges a gap between survivors and their family, their therapists and the advocates who are advocating for us in Washington DC by providing communication, symbolism, awareness and Change regarding military sexual trauma. By allowing our survivors to be heard once and for all!” We discussed the seriousness of this issue, the importance of Fatigues Clotheslines work for the victims and spreading awareness, and how our choices with clothing are impactful. Clothing is used as our personal identifiers, whether that be our choice of brand, make, or imagery.

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“My t-shirt is covered with colorful words that I use to define myself such as sensitive, proud, devotion, commitment, and friendship. The words are covered with hands. The hands are representative of how other try to hide me behind their own perceptions.

-Hunter // 17 // Westinghouse College Prep

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“I feel like what Regina Vasquez is doing with Fatigues Clothesline is for a very good cause. The fact that we need to speak up more about military rape is empowering. I completely understand that, more than anyone else possibly could, without getting into details, this is a really important issue to me. Rape is serious.”

-N.G. // 15 // Illinois Online High School

And so it begins… NVAM Teen Council Week 1!

NVAM Teen Council has begun, it is just the beginning but we are already doing some amazing things…

At the end of the first week on Saturday October 4th, 2014, NVAM TC members helped with a local cultural event: Our Portage, celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Portage by Ted Sitting Crow Garner. Portage is an aluminum sculpture by located on Cicero at Six Corners tributing the Native American Heritage of of the area. The teens set up a string of rope and colorful ribbons noting the pathway of a parade that passerbys could write positive messages on. After the parade, NVAM TC participated in an Exquisite Corpse workshop at the NVAM as a part of Chicago Artists Month. Participants were introduced to contemporary veteran artists work and processes. Then everyone got together to start the process of making exquisite corpses and participants ranged from the veteran artists, NVAM staff, NVAM TC, young children and their families, the public from Our Portage and more. Check the NVAM Out Loud Gallery soon for photos of the Exquisite Corpses!

Here are Week 1 Reflections of NVAM Teen Council:

NVAM Out Loud Interviews Walter Reed

NVAM Out Loud interviews Walter Reed, Holocaust Survivor and U.S. Army WWII Veteran about his life and experiences from escaping Poland and coming to the states to becoming a U.S. citizen to serve into the U.S. Check out the teens reflection on both interviews with Walter Reed and Ned Ricks in CONNECTIONS under voices.

From Drawing to Painting an Arts Workshop with Jerry Frech

July 12th, 2014 From Drawing to Painting an Arts Workshop with Jerry Frech
July 12th, 2014
Jerry Frech, Iraq War Veteran in the U.S. Air Force in Security Forces, taught a free workshop open to the public on how to move from drawing to painting at NVAM

Jerry says, “I have found that a lot of folks won’t paint because they don’t know where to start and would prefer to keep drawing. This workshop will help students learn how to ‘cross the bridge’ into painting.”