Blest be the Ties that Bind: The 1986 Montagnard Resettlement to Greensboro, North Carolina and the Reshaping of the Memory of the Vietnam War.

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dc.contributor.advisor Joseph Caddell, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor David Gilmartin, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Nancy Mitchell, Committee Chair en_US Raper, Lauren Elizabeth en_US 2010-04-02T18:01:00Z 2010-04-02T18:01:00Z 2009-08-05 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-05042009-091527 en_US
dc.description.abstract In 1986, a group of 209 Montagnards from the Central Highlands of Vietnam was relocated to Greensboro, North Carolina. Utilizing interviews with the volunteers and the Montagnards, as well as U.S. State Department documents and press reports, this thesis chronicles the Montagnards’ journey from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand to North Carolina. It examines the roles that veterans, Lutheran Family Services of North Carolina, and local volunteers played in facilitating the Montagnards’ resettlement. First, this thesis explains who the Montagnards are, their relationship with the U.S. military during the Vietnam War, and how they arrived at the Thai refugee camp where they made contact with veterans in the United States and requested resettlement. It details how a small group of veterans lobbied the U.S. government and led a media campaign to educate the American people about the Montagnards and elicit support for their resettlement. Veterans marketed the Montagnard group as loyal American allies who had been abandoned by the U.S. military and government at the end of the war. Implicit in their rhetoric was a call to the American people to rectify this mistake. This study argues that the Montagnards’ affiliation with the U.S. military during the Vietnam War differentiated them from other refugee groups and was a key reason why their resettlement was expedited by the U.S. government. Secondly, this study describes the unique challenges of the Montagnard resettlement and how the local volunteers prepared for the Montagnards’ arrival in Greensboro. Lutheran Family Services of North Carolina was chosen by the U.S. State Department to facilitate the resettlement because of its past successes, its close relationship with community volunteers, and its location in North Carolina. Lutheran Family Services recruited church sponsors, procured housing, solicited food and clothing donations, secured jobs for the refugees, and educated the people of Greensboro about Montagnard culture and history. It appealed to Christian compassion and patriotism to solicit sponsors and volunteers. Understanding what Lutheran Family Services did helps explain why the Montagnards were able to assimilate successfully to American society. This thesis also considers why local volunteers participated in the resettlement by examining who the volunteers were, what they did, and how the community reacted to the Montagnards in their midst. Finally, this research places the Montagnard story within the context of historic memory and raises questions of how Americans’ collective memory of the Vietnam War may be shaped and revised through refugee resettlements. It argues that veterans, Lutheran Family Services staff, and local volunteers formed memory activist groups to selectively market the Montagnards as loyal and brave American soldiers who were abandoned by the U.S. government in order to garner support for their resettlement. This study examines how the Montagnard resettlement may be understood as a living memorial to the Vietnam War; a memorial meant to atone for and reconstruct negative memories of the war. en_US
dc.rights I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dis sertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to NC State University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. en_US
dc.subject Selective Marketing en_US
dc.subject Marketing en_US
dc.subject Central Highlands en_US
dc.subject Thialand en_US
dc.subject Refugee Resettlement en_US
dc.subject Special Forces en_US
dc.subject Refugee en_US
dc.subject Rhonda Rosser en_US
dc.subject Celia Shankle en_US
dc.subject Veterans en_US
dc.subject Raleigh Bailey en_US
dc.subject Lutheran Family Services en_US
dc.subject Memory Activists en_US
dc.subject Memory en_US
dc.subject North Carolina en_US
dc.subject Greensboro en_US
dc.subject Vietnam en_US
dc.subject Montagnard en_US
dc.title Blest be the Ties that Bind: The 1986 Montagnard Resettlement to Greensboro, North Carolina and the Reshaping of the Memory of the Vietnam War. en_US MA en_US thesis en_US History en_US

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