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Our Vietnam Voices

Our Vietnam Voices: Vince’s Story

“The son that left for Vietnam never came home.”

July 3, 2017

Editor’s note: This KCTS 9 video is part of a larger series of local stories featuring people impacted by the Vietnam War. The promotional series is being produced in conjunction with the airing of The Vietnam War, a 10-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, the first episode of which airs on Sept. 17, 2017 on KCTS 9.

Vince Visaya grew up in Wapato, Wash. with a love of aviation. When his draft notice came, he set it aside and enlisted in the Air Force. Vince was deployed to Vietnam, where he forged some of his life’s deepest friendships.

There were times of segregation and I knew the color of my skin, but I also knew that they had my back, just like I had theirs. They were my brothers. We were brothers.

In Vietnam, he was faced with picking up the wreckage of a plane in his squadron after it was tragically shot down by enemy fire. He is still haunted by the helplessness that he felt, knowing there was nothing he could do to save his friend. 

“My mom said, ‘The son that left for Vietnam never came home,’” he says. 


Charles Costanza

Charles is a 25-year veteran producer creating a wide range of broadcasting content including social media content, education, public affairs documentaries and live-action filmmaking. He has received several awards as a director, writer, videographer and editor. Charles grew up in Florida, Oregon and spent over 20 years living abroad in Australia. Costanza is a graduate of Washington State University and is a keen fly fisher (always catch-and-release!). More stories by Charles Costanza