Southeast Asia and the Middle East

The nature and domestic support of the Southeast Asia and Middle East conflicts differed significantly from that of WWI and WWII. This is demonstrated most obviously by the fact that they are referred to officially as conflicts or operations, not wars. The focus of Northeastern’s involvement in these conflicts also shifted from the institution to the individual student.

University students organized a term-long fundraising drive to purchase farming supplies for the destitute South Korean Island of Cheju Do. Student organizations also coordinated blood drives for the Red Cross to aid the U.S. Armed Forces and civilian population in Vietnam. In addition, Northeastern’s Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS), which sent messages to soldiers in Vietnam, was the most active Boston area MARS organization. During the Gulf War, students sent care packages and letters in cooperation with the Weymouth Support Group for Operation Desert Storm.

Korean Casualties
Vietnam Marine Reads of Home in NEWS
Husky Plus


Aside from these efforts, there were existing services and policies in place for dealing with wartime enrollment and returning veterans. During World War II, Dean Harold Melvin wanted the University to keep in touch with students and alumni serving overseas. He began by answering letters from Northeasterners personally. When the volume of letters grew too great, he began a newsletter called Husky Plus and, assisted by a volunteer group of students, he printed and sent it out to those abroad. The newsletter was revived during the Korean conflict and contained University and Boston news, reports of visits by servicemen to campus, a letter from Dean Melvin, and, in later issues, photographs. Casualties and fatalities were mentioned in the newsletter only in the final issue of the newsletter, which was sent out after the war ended.

Thomas Newell, Korean vet and Finance and Insurance student, said of the “Husky Plus” newsletter: “Mail is something every serviceman enjoys, and I certainly looked forward to receiving these newsletters.”