March 06, 2019

Explore the Vietnam War at SIU through the eyes of those who lived it

by Christi Mathis

ron-osgood.jpgCARBONDALE, Ill. — “Just Like Me: Vietnam War Stories from All Sides,” an emotional journey spanning decades and going around the world, is coming to Southern Illinois University Carbondale later this month.

The movie, produced by SIU alumnus Ron Osgood, will be shown at 6 p.m. on March 26 at the Student Center Auditorium. It’s free and everyone is welcome to attend the Emmy-winning documentary.

Tells the oft-buried personal stories from all sides

The film and the oral history website look at the Vietnam War from all sides, revealing the perspectives of both American and Vietnam veterans as well as others affected by the conflict. More than 150 stories are interwoven into a touching and very human cross-cultural experience that examines connections and experiences with empathy and compassion.

Discover what it’s like to:

  • Lose a brother in war.
  • Experience terrible fear as your plane is shot down.
  • Live as a prisoner of war.
  • Engineer the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
  • Breach a fortified firebase.
  • Be a foot soldier following sometimes-frustrating tactical orders.
  • Escape your country by boat as a refugee.
  • Navigate childhood with a war going on all around you.
  • Survive Agent Orange exposure and deal with lifelong consequences.
  • Rescue a fellow soldier.
  • Perform triage in a field hospital in Saigon.
  • Deal with PTSD long after returning from the war zone.

The documentary, “Just Like Me: Vietnam War Stories from All Sides,” draws on themes from the oral history collection. Historical photographs and film footage are woven throughout the stories about such themes as music, art, saving the life of an enemy combatant, refugees and reflection. The transmedia project, featuring voices from North and South Korea and America, includes both the documentary and an oral history website (

Osgood’s video work began at SIU

Osgood is a double alumnus of SIU, earning his bachelor’s degree in communications (radio/television major and cinema minor) in 1976 and his master’s of education degree in educational media in 1977.

While still a student, he chaired the Student Government Activities Council Video Committee, which screened films on campus and recorded more than 50 original video programs.

These programs ran the gamut from live concerts featuring musical stars such as Foghat and Shawn Colvin to documentaries on diverse topics, including gay rights and Jimmy Carters’ 1976 presidential campaign visit, to lectures by notable guests such as F. Lee Bailey.

Osgood went on to a long career as a collegiate media faculty member and also has produced other documentaries on topics as diverse as pickup basketball, making a John Mellencamp album, climate change in national parks and more.

Osgood is himself a Vietnam War veteran.

Osgood will attend SIU presentation

Osgood will be in attendance for SIU’s documentary showing.

The film was chosen as the closing event for the National Archives’ “Remembering Vietnam” exhibit in Washington D.C.  The production will appeal to a wide audience and veterans will likely particularly be interested, organizers say.

Find a trailer at