Visit From a Vietnam Veteran

Chatting in class isn’t always encouraged but on Thursday, April 15th the Advanced Placement United States History students were able to have an informative video chat with Phil Leatherberry, a Vietnam Veteran.
Mr. Leatherberry virtually joined the students in Mr. DiFilippo’s class to talk about his experiences in Vietnam as a Corporal in Heavy Artillery and later as a Track Commander.
“It was great to have Phil join us on the video conference and share his wealth of experiences from the war. Mr. Leatherberry is a family member and I have always enjoyed learning so much about the war through his extremely knowledgeable insight,” said Mr. DiFilippo. 
The discussion centered on the draft experience, geography and topography of Vietnam, cultural lessons, the Tet Offensive, the various roles of soldiers in Vietnam, the return home, and included a question and answer segment.
The presentation contained many self-taken pictures from his experiences in Vietnam from 1967-1968. The students were surprised by many parts of the presentation including some of the methods of defense such as the implementation of simple sandbags.
Junior Reem Al-Adwan said, “the sandbags I always see in movies are actually really useful!” Mr. Leatherberry even referred to them as a lifesaver in many ways. He talked about how shrapnel rarely penetrated the bags. Later in the presentation, he focused on the desperation of the Vietnamese people during the war.
Junior Hailey Kainrath said, “I learned about the amount of trade with the GI’s for hats and other items. We also learned how desperate the people were for any extra food portions from the soldiers.”
Mr. DiFilippo said, “Covid changed the way we interact in the classroom. This was a great way to have an experience similar to a field trip but from the safety of the virtual classroom.”
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