The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Of life & death

Vietnam chaplain shares memories

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison is bringing back ghostly memories for retired Navy chaplain Ray Stubbe. A life-size diorama, part of an exhibit titled “In the Belly of the Dragon: Life and Death in I Corps,” includes the retired ELCA pastor’s cross, helmet and boots still caked in Vietnam’s mud.

Life is quieter these days for Stubbe, who lives in Wauwatosa, Wis., where he attends St. Matthew Lutheran Church. But in early 1968, he was ducking rockets and sniper bullets during the siege at Khe Sanh. An acclaimed photo by Life photographer Dick Swanson shows Stubbe leading three Marines in prayer. That scene is re-created in the exhibit, which will continue through 2007.

Stubbe also donated 150 boxes of files, thousands of photos, 2,000 cassettes of taped interviews and numerous other military artifacts to the museum. “It was a great relief for me to know that all that information will now be safe,” he said.

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February issue


Embracing diversity