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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

Research, not Rambo


Apocalypse Now, Rambo and other popular movies about the Vietnam War don’t show the real thing, according to my father and the other veterans I’ve talked to lately. Instead, they’ve given me a long list of books to read, supplemented by suggestions from people who have recently traveled to Vietnam.

Nearly everyone’s list includes The Girl in the Picture – the story of Kim Phuc, the burning girl famously photographed in 1972.

I’ve also read The Father of All Things by Tom Bissell (the author wrote about returning to Vietnam with his father, a former marine); If I Die in a Combat Zone by Tim O’Brien (I read The Things They Carried in high school, then saw him read from it at Cornell a few years later); and Letters from Vietnam. There are plenty of books I haven’t had a chance to read – including Red Thunder Tropic Lightning by Eric Bergerud, my father’s recommendation, about his particular unit – the 25th Army Division. I haven’t even had time to skim the guidebook a Columbia student from Vietnam lent me two months ago. I guess that’s what the long, long flights are for…

(By the way, I used to read so much, some Briarcliff Middle School classmates just called me “Book” to tease me. If only I had the time now to deserve it!)

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 1st, 2007 at 3:59 am by Nicole Neroulias. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Vietnam veterans, Vietnam veterans



About this blog
"Return to Vietnam" chronicles the journey of Col. Andonios Neroulias USA (Ret.) of Briarcliff Manor, NY, joined by his daughter, staff writer Nicole Neroulias, to the country he fought in 40 years ago. They are traveling with Vietnam veterans and Rotarians from Rockland County and other parts of the country. Check this blog for daily posts, photos, recordings and slideshows about their experiences.
About the authors
Nicole and Andonios Neroulias

Nicole Neroulias grew up in Briarcliff Manor, NY, and graduated from Cornell University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has covered religion and city news in Cyprus, Connecticut and California, where she earned several fellowships and prizes, including a national Religion Newswriters Association award. She joined The Journal News in early 2007 and also teaches journalism at Columbia.

Col. Andonios Neroulias emigrated from Greece in 1956 and was commissioned an officer through the ROTC program of the City College of NY. From 1967-68, he served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry (Tropic Lightning) Division, whose main base was in Cu Chi, known for its intricate Viet Cong tunnels. Among his military awards are the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He is retired from the U.S. Army Reserve and lives in Briarcliff Manor, NY.
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