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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

Welcome to the jungle, Viet Cong-style

November
7

Col. Andonios Neroulias and I are on our way to Vietnam right now, to join up with the humanitarian tour group of Rockland veterans and Rotary Club members. So far, it’s a much nicer journey than 1st Lt. Andonios Neroulias took 40 years ago, though the first leg – New York to Los Angeles – is the same. (One big difference: I’m pretty sure we just spotted Eric Dane, aka “McSteamy” from Grey’s Anatomy…)

Hopefully, we will also get a much nicer reception when we finally reach our destination. A few weeks after my father had arrived in South Vietnam in 1967, he was nearly killed by the VC during a search-and-destroy mission in a pineapple plantation. This M-16 rifle saved his life, but not the way it was necessarily supposed to… (hint: that dent in the middle didn’t come with the weapon.)

rifle.jpg

Click on the audio link below to hear the full story.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 at 12:05 am by Nicole Neroulias. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Vietnam veterans, Vietnam veterans

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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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