Baker Proud Spring 2015 - (Page 18)
BAKER PROUD | Spring 2015
photos by earl richardson
John Musgrave, who attended Baker from 1969 to 1971, is contributing to Ken Burns' documentary on the Vietnam War.
Helping document history
t age 17 in 1967, John Musgrave saw the
battlefields in Vietnam soon after enlisting in
the U.S. Marine Corps, a member of the 1st
Battalion 9th Marines.
Nearly a year into his time as a soldier in the jungles,
Musgrave's platoon was ambushed. Musgrave suffered
gunshot wounds to his chest and leg and was permanently
disabled. He spent 17 months in a military hospital and
has leaned on poetry through the years to help him cope
as a veteran of war.
"It's the only way to deal with this," says Musgrave,
who attended Baker from 1969 to 1971 and is a longtime
Baldwin City resident. "It's like sticking a finger down your
throat, lancing a boil. I had to get that poison out of me
because it was eating me alive. It's a continuing process."
Musgrave's "Notes to the Man Who Shot Me: Vietnam
Poems," now in its ninth printing, has received attention
throughout the years. The raw, emotional poetry was
noticed by Ken Burns, a director and producer well known
for his documentary films. PBS announced a couple of
years ago production plans for a series about the history
and meaning of the Vietnam War. According to PBS, the
series, slated for release in 2016, will explore the military,
political, cultural, social and human dimensions of what
has been called "the war of lost illusions."
Musgrave and his wife, Shannon, traveled twice to
New York in the fall to read his poetry and share photos
with Burns and other members of his documentary team.
He has been told his stories will be a significant part of
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baker Proud Spring 2015
Thirst for Knowledge
Finding His Calling
Let Thy Praises Ring
Anatomy of a Student
100th Doctoral Graduate
Baker Proud Spring 2015