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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

Bright lights, big city

November
9

We touched down in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City last night. (Both names are commonly used; I’ll talk more about that in a future blog post.)
We could immediately see the city is a booming metropolis, with blazing lights on jammed highways visible from the air – an inconceivable sight during the Vietnam War 40 years ago. My father was also bemused to see the remains of the fortified U-shaped walls that once protected American military aircraft, now standing vacant in the grassy field beside the runway.

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Check back tomorrow to view photos and videos from our trip to an orphanage with Son Michael Pham, the Seattle Rotary Club member who led Ed Frank’s group from Rockland here last year. Pham’s group this year includes a Vietnamese British woman who was one of the last babies airlifted out in 1975 and has returned to search for her birth mother, and a recent college graduate who will spend the next two months volunteering here. The groups will merge Sunday night for dinner, when the Rockland Rotarians arrive in Ho Chi Minh City.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 9th, 2007 at 12:00 pm 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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2 Responses to “Bright lights, big city”

  1. Diana

    glad to see you’ve touched down. i look forward to tomorrow’s posts. it seems as though you will have a busy (and very interesting!) day. good luck!

  2. M. Samourkas

    What an amazing idea! This is such a fascinating and also heartwarming trip!
    Excellent job!

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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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