Vietnam veteran to speak on campus

By Jessica Chesko
September 29, 2006

Vietnam veteran and author Don Yost will be speaking at Cabrini in the Widener Center lecture hall at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5.

Now, years after the end of the war in which he served as a Combatt Infantryman and War Correspondent, Yost is beginning to put his lessons learned into inspirational teachings. His book “Blessings: Transforming My Vietnam Experience” is a first person account, not just of the brutal war battles, but of the aftermath.

The book teaches that blessings can come from even the most painful times in our lives. He wrote the book for his children to help them understand what he went through and to help them get through their own hard times.

Yost explains that “everyone has some sort of ‘Vietnam’ in their life. ‘Vietnams’ are those things that make you feel alienated and bitter, those things that make you feel angry and those things that make you feel guilty..The way you respond to them determines your future and defines who you are as a person.

“They have the ability to destroy you if you allow them to. They also have an immense power to force you to grow. If you use that power, if you channel it properly, it will help you to accomplish things you never thought possible.”

Yost has a list of his own great accomplishments. Besides serving in the war and writing a book he is the founding president of the Montgomery County, Pa. Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America. He has also conducted “rap groups” for Vietnam Veterans for over five years. Yost explained that the “rap groups” were counseling sessions for Vietnam veterans who were finally ready to talk about their experiences.

He recieved his educational background in English. He received a bachelor of arts Degree in English Literature from Seton Hall University and his Masters Degree in English literature and publishing from Rosemont College.

“My English degree saved my life,” Yost said. Wounded during the war, he was offered a writing job in the public information office until he recovered. The day he was supposed to return there was a lot of firing and explosions going on. At the last minute, he was told that he did not have to go back, he would be a writer. “If I had gone back,” Yost said “I would have been dead.”

When asked about his opinion of the war going on today, Yost said, “I’m sickened by it.” After his experiences in Vietnam he can really relate to the horrors of war. “We wasted 58,000 young lives and learned nothing from it.”

Yost is looking forward to speaking here at Cabrini. “For you Vietnam is like ancient history but for me it happened yesterday.” His expectations for his visit to Cabrini are for the students to gain an appreciation of Vietnam and its horrible effects on the veterans and for them to take their own ‘Vietnams’ and learn from them.

Jessica Chesko

Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap