The Veteran’s Day program allowed a glimpse into one veteran’s experience in Vietnam.
Boulder Rotary Club’s own Pete Steinhauer shared stories and slides from his service as a Navy Lt. Cmdr. the Dental Corps in Vietnam both during the Vietnam War in a MASH unit and after the war, returning twenty times to do dental service work (and especially children with cleft palates.) (MASH is “Mobile Army Surgical Hospital”)

Pete took us on a “tour” of the Vietnam he first saw when he was deployed as an Army Surgeon as a young man. Pete showed us hand planted rice paddies, hot country roads and dense jungles.  His unit had to deal with all kinds of snakes bites, water born illness, bug bites, and a wide variety of infections. Those were just some of the many dangers soldiers faced – all outside the dangers of combat. 

Pete’s slide show also showed some of the hard realities of combat related injuries- young men torn up by fragmenting mines and bullets. The MASH unit also  treated Vietnamese people, under-nourished and tortured (some by their government or people, some by the US soldiers.) 

After the war, Pete returned to Vietnam to do surgery related charity work. He especially liked to help children born with cleft palates. He described a relatively straightforward surgery that significantly changes the quality of a child’s life. 

Boulder Rotary is honored to call Pete a member and we honor the service he gave his country and the people of both Vietnam and the United States.