Tony Pavia is a retired American history teacher and the former principal of Stamford High School, Trinity Catholic High School, and New Canaan High School. Matt Pavia, his son, teaches English and American studies at Darien High School in Connecticut. Together, they collaborated on a book telling the stories of Vietnam Veterans who were from the town of Stamford, Connecticut.
After thousands of hours of research and hundreds of hours of in-depth-interviews with Veterans or, in some cases, relatives and friends of those who died in the war, Tony and Matt conclude that these veterans have often been portrayed in an unfair way through both pop culture and the media. This is not a book of war stories, but one that shows a generation that is much more accomplished than what most give them credit for.
Listen in as we discuss Tony’s personal memories of that period of time including what life was like as a teenager during such a time of cultural change. Matt does a great job explaining how they went about conducting the research for the book as well as the challenges they both faced when cold-calling Veterans and convincing them to share their experiences for the book. What was most fascinating to me about this conversation was hearing how their perceptions of this war and the veterans who served in it were changed as a result of writing this book.
Tony and Matt’s book can be purchased by clicking here, and while it focuses on the lives of Veterans from one small but diverse part of Connecticut, the stories you will read about can be applicable to Vietnam veterans from Anytown USA. Happy listening