Thank veteran John Musgrave

On November 7, 1967, John Musgrave and nineteen other Marines lay dying and wounded on the jungle floor along with one hundred North Vietnamese soldiers.  The Marines that rescued John were focused on rescuing him and the other wounded Marines.  By saving their fellow Marine that day, they indirectly affected the lives of many people because John's heartfelt talks and poetry about the Vietnam War have reached veterans and non-veterans alike for over 37 years.  Most recently, John talked about his experiences and feelings about the Vietnam War in the PBS series produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

This fundraiser “Thank Veteran John Musgrave by Sending Him Back to Vietnam” is one way to thank John for freely giving his time and efforts to help veterans returning from service and for speaking out about how the Vietnam War affected so many young Americans and their families.  Recently after a public showing in Lawrence by Kansas City Public Television (KCPT) of clips from the PBS series Vietnam War, John agreed to answer questions and was asked if he had ever been back to Vietnam or wanted to visit there.  John said he had not been back because of finances, but he was interested in returning to see the places where he had been as a Marine.

 As a veteran disabled at age 19 and living on a limited income, John could not  afford the costs of airfare and accommodations to allow him, with his wife Shannon, to visit Vietnam, including the places he was in combat with fellow Marines 40 years ago. John and Shannon live outside Lawrence, Kansas, with their two dogs, and have four grown children.  People who have heard John speak in person or now nationally through the televised Vietnam War series have found John’s words moving and eloquent, and there is a desire to aid John’s return to Vietnam by donating funds for that purpose.    
John has said that writing poetry about his experience in combat was a way he fought his demons, and he wrote "Notes to the Man Who Shot Me", because after 35 years he "had to have a cease-fire in my life."  In his own words, John said, "I realized that I could not go forward until I came to peace with the North Vietnamese.  I buried the hatred that held me back, that was ruining me."  John's being able to go back to Vietnam now and visiting the places he fought beside the Marines he loved like brothers may also provide a healing experience.

For many people who have been moved by John's speaking over the years and with the PBS series having expanded that number across the country, contributing any amount for John to re-visit the place that changed him so deeply is a personal tribute to honor and thank him.  When John speaks, you realize how he opens a window to see how Vietnam War veterans and their families gave so much and how profoundly that war changed so many Americans.  Other veterans in the Lawrence area are planning a return trip in February, 2018, and we hope that funds can be raised for John and Shannon by the first of the year 2018, so they can be part of this organized trip.  This fundraiser recognizes that sacrifices made by Vietnam War veterans have not always been appreciated in earlier decades.

Please do what you can and pass on this GoFundMe message and URL through your own media connections.  Thank you.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Rose Marino 
Lawrence, KS
John Musgrave 
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