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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

Hong Kong: the R&R destination that got away

November
9

Soldiers in the Vietnam War were entitled to at least one Rest & Recuperation trip, usually of about one week. The most popular R&R destinations were Hawaii for the married soldiers, where their wives could meet them, or Bangkok and Hong Kong for the (cough cough) lonely (cough cough) troops.

My father made it to Singapore and Taipei for R&R, and stopped in Tokyo for a few days on his way home, but never got to see the infamous Hong Kong: until yesterday, during our layover.

babahong.jpg

But Suzie Wong isn’t there anymore; in fact, the Wan Chai district where on-leave soldiers and sailors once congregated is completely unrecognizeable, built over by skyscrapers and infill developments that have added city blocks to areas that used to be waterfront. (The British Navy is also gone, of course.)

On to Vietnam!

This entry was posted on Friday, November 9th, 2007 at 9:00 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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