Minneota Museum Preserves Vietnam War History


It's been nearly forty years since the end of the war with North Vietnam.

By Jason Davis

For many it could be called the "Forgotten War,” but not for two men from southwestern Minnesota.
Charlie Hettling, 72, and his 60-year-old brother Royal are both veterans of that long conflict in southeast Asia and they are determined that it will not be forgotten.

The two men have created their very own "Vietnam Museum and History Center" in the tiny town of Minneota, Minn. It's not hard to find, located between the post office and Bubba's bar. 

In the rent-free property, the two vets have filled several rooms with artifacts and mementos as a tribute to the men and women who served in Vietnam. Perhaps just as importantly, they also recognize the sacrifices the Vietnamese people suffered during the conflict.

There are many colored engravings depicting the war as seen from both sides, photographs and letters from the young men from Minneota who never came back and a large array of artifacts, both American and Vietnamese collected by Charlie Hettling on his 21 trips to Vietnam since the war ended in 1975.

Charlie and Royal don't charge a fee to visitors to their unusual museum, but they do hope for donations.

Also anyone planning to visit should call Royal first at 507 872-6326 as the museum is only open when one, or both of the brothers are in attendance. After all, the two veterans are very much part of the exhibit.

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