Notes written on burlap by Vietnam-bound soldiers preserved by Virginia couple

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — A unique and fascinating look into what Vietnam-bound troops were thinking on their way to the war zone has been preserved by the Keswick-based Vietnam Graffiti Project.

Lee and Art Beltrone are co-founders of the Graffiti Project and they have been telling the personal stories of American troops found on notes scribbled on the burlap berths of the USS Walker.

For years, they have collected the notes, drawings, and images the troops left on the ship. They also made a 45-minute film, which will be donated to the Library of Congress.

Both say it's an inside look at what the troops were really feeling more than 50 years ago.

Art is passionate about the project.

"It's very important because it conveys to the public today what American soldiers and Marines felt going to Vietnam, going to war," he said.

Lee says the troops felt so many emotions.

"The most prominent emotion was homesickness," she said.

Key segments of their film "Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam" will be showing at the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper on May 17 at 7:30 p.m.

It is free and open to the public.

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