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One for the Oklahoma History Books Column:

Welcome Home: Oklahomans and the War in Vietnam

Bob Ford, whose family came to Oklahoma and started Shawnee Mills, graduated from Shawnee High School and enrolled at the University of Oklahoma. He served as a Huey helicopter pilot on more than 2,000 missions during the Vietnam War.

Harvey Pratt, who was raised on his family’s allotment near El Reno, joined the Marines and was shipped in 1963 to Vietnam, where he joined a Marine Air Support Wing that flew search and rescue missions.

Ban Nguyen, a Vietnam native whose father served as mayor of Cam Ranh from 1966 to 1970 and hosted U.S. military leaders, fled with his family to Fort Chaffee, Ark. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1984, worked in the first Jimmy’s Egg restaurant, owned by his wife’s family. He eventually worked with the family in operating 21 of the 57 Jimmy’s Eggs.

Ford, Pratt and Nguyen are among the veterans and refugees who are honored in the new “Welcome Home: Oklahomans and the War in Vietnam” exhibit in the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Special Exhibits Gallery at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City. The exhibit will be on display for two years.



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