SYSK: Decorah teen spreads untold story of USS Kirk - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Decorah teen spreads untold story of USS Kirk


Micheal Foster began telling the story of the USS Kirk as part of a history project at Decorah Middle School.

"People need to know what these men did," Micheal Foster said.

Micheal first heard about the USS Kirk he then constructed this exhibit and built this web site. All in an effort to tell a story many people have never heard.

"Basically, at the end of the Vietnam War after all the personnel had left and everyone else was gone, the USS Kirk stayed behind and rescued the rest of the South Vietnamese navy and about 33,000 civilians," Foster said.

Even when his school project wrapped up, the 14-year-old has continued to tell this untold story. Micheal earned a Young Leader Award for his passion for the project and promoting a navy documentary of the USS Kirk the "Lucky Few."

He even became close with the commanding officer of the Kirk -- retired captain Paul Jacobs of California. Micheal flew to Garden Grove, California--known as Little Saigon. And Jacobs returned the favor by visiting Decorah and Luther College on Veterans Day.

"I think it's become more of a personal mission for me because I wasn't familiar with this era - the Vietnam War. To my generation it's something that happened. But it's really important telling the positive side of the ending here," said Foster.

Micheal has even reached out to the president! When President Barack Obama came to Decorah in August, Micheal and his dad went to the gym hoping to get a glimpse of him. Well, Micheal actually talked to the president.

"I was really nervous. I handed him a copy of the newspaper story and the DVD documentary and said these men need to be honored for what they've done," said Micheal Foster.

Micheal isn't stopping with the president. He said he'll keep telling the story until everyone has heard of the USS Kirk.

For more information on Micheal Foster's project, click here.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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