Professor emeritus releases Vietnam war documentary (Phillip Kientzler)

Indiana University professor emeritus Ron Osgood was drafted into the Vietnam War in 1968, but his time in the Navy didn’t fully shape his understanding of the war.

That came some four decades later, when Osgood began production on his 2010 PBS documentary “My Vietnam, Your Iraq.” This year, he released his follow-up documentary, “Just Like Me: The Vietnam War – Stories From All Sides.”

Ron Osgood, Indiana University professor emeritus and producer and director of  the documentary, “Just Like Me: The Vietnam War – Stories From All Sides,” made three deployments to Vietnam between 1970 and 1972.Photo courtesy of Ron Osgood

“The war for me was somewhat abstract. It wasn’t political,” he said. “I was just more interested in getting out of the Navy and learning a skill, the craft I was learning in my job, which was TV production.”

Osgood sought to share multiple perspectives of the war through “Just Like Me” after interviewing an American soldier for “My Vietnam, Your Iraq” who realized the parallels between his own life and that of a Vietnamese soldier who was killed.

In 2011, Osgood received a grant from IU’s New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities program to create a playlist of interviews with American and Vietnamese veterans. Three years ago, he partnered with WTIU to create this hourlong regional documentary out of the stories.

Osgood based the documentary on interviews with about 150 veterans, ranging from an hour to two hours each. Cutting down the content into concise clips was the most challenging part of the production process, he said.

“It sort of just evolved,” he said. “It took a really long time and, actually up until the last week of editing, there were still those kinds of story decisions being made.”

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