Streamed live on April 29, 2024

Vietnam Veteran Chuck Theusch discusses his transformative journey from the battlegrounds of Vietnam to the peaceful mission of building libraries in Vietnam and Cambodia.

In 1969-70, Chuck served in the 4/3 Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division in Vietnam. Like many others, he experienced the harsh realities of combat, witnessing the devastation of war and its profound impact on both the land and its people.

These experiences left an indelible mark on him. After his military service concluded, Theusch returned to civilian life in Wisconsin. However, the memories of Vietnam continued to weigh heavily on him.

In 1999, after a return trip to Vietnam, he founded the Children’s Library International. Theusch recognized the power of education in shaping the future of nations recovering from conflict. He understood that libraries could serve as beacons of hope, offering access to knowledge and fostering a love for learning among children and communities.

With this vision in mind, he set out to build libraries in Vietnam and Cambodia, countries deeply scarred by war but resilient in their pursuit of progress. The task was daunting, fraught with logistical challenges and bureaucratic hurdles.

Yet, Theusch remained undeterred and gradually turned his vision into reality, one library at a time. The impact of Theusch’s work extended far beyond the mere construction of physical structures. Each library became a symbol of reconciliation, bridging divides and fostering understanding between former adversaries.

By providing access to books and educational resources, these libraries empowered children and communities to break the cycle of poverty and ignorance. In Vietnam, Theusch’s efforts were met with gratitude and appreciation from local communities.

The libraries he built became cherished landmarks, offering a safe haven for children to explore the world of literature and expand their horizons. In Cambodia, a nation still grappling with the legacy of genocide, his work brought hope to marginalized communities, offering a pathway to a brighter future.

Theusch’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of service and compassion.