Revisiting Vietnam
Back to Online Chat Transcript

Bobby Muller

Robert O. (Bobby) Muller is the President of Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF), which he founded in 1980. VVAF is an international humanitarian organization that provides aid to the victims of war; the organization operates prosthetic and orthotics clinics in Cambodia, Vietnam, El Salvador and Angola and was the co-founder and coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.

After graduating with a degree in business administration from Hofstra University, Muller joined the U.S. Marines and served as an infantry officer in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. He returned from the war a paraplegic as a result of combat injuries. After spending a year in a Veterans Administration hospital in New York City, he returned to Hofstra University where, in 1974, he earned his law degree.

Muller founded Vietnam Veterans of America, a veterans membership organization, in 1980. In 1981, he led the first delegation of Vietnam veterans to return to Vietnam after the war. He led the organization in successful efforts to establish court review of veterans' benefits and worked to preserve and expand veterans counseling services. The organization was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1986. Muller stepped down as president of VVA in 1987 to devote full time to leading VVAF's humanitarian and advocacy programs.

Muller has appeared on numerous television news talk shows and news magazines, including "Today," "Good Morning America," "Nightline," ABC's "Day One," "The Jim Lehrer News Hour," NPR's "Morning Edition," and the McLaughlin News Hour's "One On One." He has lectured at over one hundred universities and colleges on the lessons learned from the Vietnam experience and the relevance of those lessons for the U.S. role in the international community.

In 1991, Muller led the effort to establish an international campaign to ban landmines. The campaign has grown to include over 1000 organizations in sixty nations. As a result of these efforts, more than 120 nations have signed an international agreement banning antipersonnel landmines.

Bobby Muller is 52 and lives in Washington, D.C. 

©2018 American Public Media