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Iowa museum highlight wives of Prisoners of War in Vietnam

A new exhibit at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum in Johnston shines a light on the wives of Prisoners of War in Vietnam.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 11:51 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa - (WOI) - A new exhibit at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum in Johnston shines a light on the wives of Prisoners of War, or POW’s, in Vietnam.

The exhibit traces the stories of multiple women who formed the National League of Families of American Prisoners.

They shared the goal of fighting for their husband’s freedom.

The exhibit is called “The League of Wives: Vietnam’s POW/MIA Allies and Advocates.”

It’s based on Heath Hardage Lee’s book, of the same name.

“The wives of the families try to lobby the government to get the men out in the Hanoi Hilton and related prisons, also to account for the missing men,” Hardage Lee said.

Michael Vogt, a curator at the museum, said this is their first traveling exhibit. He said anyone who visits the exhibit will learn how some Iowans fought to help get POW’s released.

“We have a unique set of scrapbooks that were put together by the mother of a naval aviator Larry Spencer and so they’re a great resource and they have a number of clippings and a number of stories in there,” Vogt said.

Lee said exhibits like these help place a spotlight on people not often included in the important conversations about the war.

The exhibit will be up until August 31.

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