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Punta Gorda Army Veteran Shares 'My Vietnam War—During, After, and Way After'

This month PBS stations across the country are in the midsts of airing The Vietnam War, a ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.  The series strives to offer a comprehensive view of the war and the social and political environment of the 1960s. On Gulf Coast Live, we're also offering a unique perspective on the war from a one-time Army combat correspondent.

Punta Gorda resident and WGCU reporter Michael Hirsh shares a first-hand account of his Vietnam War experiences, including audio recordings he made during the war and his work with veterans in the years since. He was a combat correspondent with the Army's 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi, Vietnam in 1966, where he received the Combat Infantryman Badge. "My Vietnam War—During, After, and Way After" also features Hirsh's fellow army combat correspondent David Kleinberg and an excerpt of his one man show, “Hey, Hey, LBJ”.

Hirsh is a Peabody Award-winning lifelong broadcast journalist, having produced documentaries and specials for PBS, ABC, CBS and HBO. "My Vietnam War—During, After, and Way After" was produced and written by Michael Hirsh. The executive producer and editor was Amy Tardif. Audio editing by Matthew Smith with technical support from Richard Chin Quee. 

The first five episodes of the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick series The Vietnam War aired this past week on WGCU at 8 p.m., with the final five episodes airing Sunday through Thursday at 8 p.m. Beginning on Sunday at 11:30 a.m., WGCU is re-airing the first week of episodes back-to-back. All 10 episodes are also online at WGCU.



Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
Amy Tardif is WGCU’s FM Station Manager and News Director. She oversees a staff of 10 full and part-time people and interns in news, production and the radio reading service. Her program Lucia's Letter on human trafficking received a coveted Peabody Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, a gold medal from the New York Festivals and 1st place for Best Documentary from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. She was the first woman in radio to Chair RTDNA, having previously served as Chair-Elect and the Region 13 representative on its Board of Directors for which she helped write an e-book on plagiarism and fabrication. She also serves on the FPBS Board of Directors and served on the PRNDI Board of Directors from 2007 -2012. Tardif has been selected twice to serve as a managing editor for NPR's Next Generation Radio Project. She served on the Editorial Integrity for Public Media Project helping to write the section on employee's activities beyond their public media work. She was the producer and host of Gulf Coast Live Arts Edition for 8 years and spent 14 years as WGCU’s local host of NPR's Morning Edition. Amy spent five years as producer and managing editor of WGCU-TV’s former monthly environmental documentary programs In Focus on the Environment and Earth Edition. Prior to joining WGCU Public Media in 1993, she was the spokesperson for the Fort Myers Police Department, spent 6 years reporting and anchoring for television stations in Fort Myers and Austin, Minnesota and reported for WUSF Public Radio in Tampa. Amy has two sons in college and loves fencing, performing in local theater and horseback riding.