Vietnam Mailbag brings old stories to Frankford library

Lynch to share letters from her popular column

Where would a journalist be without her source? During the Vietnam War, American troops sent Nancy E. Lynch nearly 1,000 letters and hundreds of photos from overseas, which she published in her popular column, Nancy’s Vietnam Mailbag.

This week, Lynch and Vietnam veteran Rick Lovekin team up for the “Vietnam Mailbag” program Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. at Frankford Public Library.

After arguably America’s most unpopular war, Lynch wrote the book “Vietnam Mailbag: Voices From The War, 1968-1972.”

She will read selected correspondence from servicemen featured in her 456-page history book.

“It’s Veterans Day. It’s obviously keeping alive the memory of spirit of sacrifice that the troops have given to us,” said Rachel Wackett, library director.

After wrapping up her five-year column in 1972, Lynch promised “her guys” that she would someday write a book to honor and preserve their stories. Published in 2008, the novel earned Independent Publisher’s 2009 gold medal for Best Non-Fiction in the Mid-Atlantic states.

Today, Lynch lives in Bethel.

“I’ve met her,” Wackett said. “She’s sharp and funny... but it still has deep personal significance for her.”

Lovekin will share some of his own combat experiences, some of which he originally described in regular letters to Lynch. He always signed his letters, “Your Man in Nam.”

With a medical disability, Lovekin could have avoided service in Vietnam, but enlisted in the U.S. Army and spent a year in combat as a door gunner on a Huey helicopter, and later as a Cobra chopper crew chief.

The multimedia program also includes old photos and music of the era.

Frankford Public Library is located at 8 Main Street. The program is supported by a Delaware Humanities Forum grant.