Boxed up for decades, local Vietnam vet's photos to be displayed - Montgomery Alabama news.

Boxed up for decades, local Vietnam vet's photos to go on display

Photo: Charlie Haughey Photo: Charlie Haughey
Charlie Haughey Charlie Haughey
Photo: Charlie Haughey Photo: Charlie Haughey

For nearly 45 years, stunning images depicting hope and sacrifice, along with fear and pain, were stored away in boxes belonging to a local Vietnam veteran.

Soon, they will be on display for everyone to see.

Charlie Haughey was drafted in 1967. He served in Vietnam from March 1968 to May 1969.

During that time, Haughey took nearly 2,000 photographs.

When he first reported to his colonel, Haughey was told he was going to take photos. However, he was also instructed not to act like a war photographer.

"This is a morale job," Haughey recalls the colonel telling him. "He said, 'your job is to get my guys' pictures in the paper doing what they do.'"

Haughey was told if his images appeared in newspapers and magazines, he was free to essentially operate how he wanted in Vietnam.

Haughey said he covered everything he saw and interviewed plenty of soldiers. He was also always armed and prepared for combat in the field.

"I remember being scared to death for those kids," he said. "I don't remember being very scared for me."

Haughey brought his negatives home with him when his tour of duty was over. He stored them away in boxes and it wasn't until the fall of 2012 when the idea to put them on display began to take shape.

A local team of collaborators spent months prepping and digitizing Haughey's works.

"They see things in the photos in terms of art and content, because most of the stuff I took wasn't war stuff really, it was guys doing kind of a nasty job," he said.

The collection called A Weather Walked In will go on display at ADX Portland, 417 S.E. 11th Ave., during the month of April. It will feature 28 photographs.

Haughey will be in attendance for the opening, which is set for 6 to 10 p.m. April 5. Some images will be available for purchase in frames made by Haughey, who is a retired cabinetmaker.

Haughey said it wasn't until he developed the photos that it truly set in what he had been a part of in Vietnam.

"When I developed the pictures I remember looking at them and wondering what the hell I was doing there, why I did that," he said.

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