The UCF Office of Diversity Initiatives, Veteran Services Registrar’s Office, and UCF Libraries are hosting military appreciation and history displays (Cases 1 and 3) in the UCF Library. The exhibition includes photos, letters, medals, paintings and flags that were presented to families who lost loved ones who served their country, uniforms and a canteen.
Items from the Vietnam War era include a Vietnamese pith helmet and products of the Montangards. The pith helmet was removed from the body of a dead North Vietnamese Army officer during a hunt for intelligence following a battle. Inscribed inside the helmet is a heart with two birds and the Vietnamese word for peace. A cloth and other implements, such as sandals, a knife, are from the Montangard culture of Vietnam. The Montangards are a distinct culture of indigenous peoples living in the central highlands of Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, Montangards were used by U.S. Special Operations forces to fight against the North Vietnamese/VietCong. Montangards were paid as mercenary troops who only asked for U.S. support to protect their wives and children while they were away.
“I believe it is important to remember and to continue to honor those who have fought to keep us free,” said Barbara Thompson, Office of Diversity Initiatives. The exhibition displays gratitude to our freedom fighters for those who served, and continue to serve our country. Items exhibited are on loan from the Vietnam Veterans of Central Florida, The National Vietnam War Museum and UCF employees.
Veteran Services, Registrar Services, is an office in the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Services.