Vietnam veteran to perform "Vietnam…through my lens" as part of the U Veterans Day Commemoration
Writer, actor and Vietnam veteran Stu Richel was at a party with friends in 2011 when the subject of Vietnam came up. As they reminisced, he recalled the day he left Vietnam to come home and the many emotions he felt.
“Nervousness, because it wasn't yet over,” Richel recalled. “Silence as we boarded the plane, because ‘things’ could still happen. And then, after the plane had taken off, a stewardess announced that this was ‘Flight G2 B4. Our destination... Travis Air Force Base, California, USA!’ We cheered. We applauded. There was an overwhelming feeling of relief, pride, pure joy. We were going home.”
Richel was an Army photographer with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1969. He was a draftee, who later volunteered for service in Vietnam. He is a Life Member of American Legion Post 0581 in Manhattan and Veterans of Foreign War Post 5195 in Brooklyn.
As he spoke of his memories that day in 2011, his friends were moved and told him he needed to put these stories on paper. Several years and many encouraging conversations later, Richel created "Vietnam…through my lens," a series of heartfelt stories punctuated by compelling photographs and videos. Richel plays multiple characters, including himself, as he narrates the path by which he ended up in Vietnam, his experiences there and how they have shaped his life.
“Many people come to the performance with preconceived notions as to what the show will be like,” Richel said about the show. “And, most times, they will be surprised! Some folks anticipate a political piece. Nope. No politics in this play. We all get enough of those ‘talking heads’ elsewhere. Some people expect a slide show, filled with gore. Nope. No gore. No slide show. This is theatre...an onstage performance, punctuated with compelling videos.”
UtahPresents, in partnership with the Veterans Support Center, is bringing the performance to campus during the Veterans Day Commemoration events, to honor all men and women serving in uniform. Richel hopes the performance brings new appreciation and respect for all veterans.
“I hope that the show helps some folks consider a distinction between those who make national policy...and those farther down the ‘power scale’ who risk their lives to serve their country and carry out those policies,” Richel said. “And to the soldiers who served in Vietnam, I hope the show says, ‘Welcome Home.’”
"Vietnam…through my lens"
In partnership with the University of Utah Veterans Support Center
Nov. 14, 2019 Ι 7 p.m.
Nov. 15, 2019 Ι 7:30 p.m.
General public: $20
U students (with UCard): $5
Active military and veterans: $10
Click here for more info.