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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

Vietnam veteran reunion on the Mekong Delta

November
12

Including my father, there are 14 Vietnam veterans and one non-Vietnam veteran in our Rockland-based humanitarian tour group of 31 people traveling through Vietnam. Several of veterans once served together, including a helicopter pilot who rescued two of the other soldiers in the group. Check back for that story later – it’s a good one.

Ed Frank, of Congers, NY, has reunited with Tom Phelps, of San Diego, Calif. They served together in the U.S. Navy on a Tango boat on the Mekong Delta in 1969. Here’s a photo of Tom (left) and Ed (right) then:

tomed1.jpg

And now:
tomednow.jpg

Check back later to hear their thoughts on cruising the Mekong River, then and now. In the meantime, here’s a quick video clip of one of the boats we rode on the river today.
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This entry was posted on Monday, November 12th, 2007 at 6:59 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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One Response to “Vietnam veteran reunion on the Mekong Delta”

  1. Doc Bernie Duff

    Wow…I wasn’t aware of the fact that Tommy was along on this trip. He was with us when we returned in 2005 as well…ask him if he is back to retrieve his lost flip-flop. I’m anxious to see everyone tomorrow as you pull in to Tra Vinh. Normally, I wear tennis shoes there because it is a dump and dirty. The garbage dump will soon be moved a little further from town, which will make traveling back and forth more difficult for the ones who live away from the dump. I’m sure that this will only increase the number of kids who will just erect a cardboard shelter and live atop the piles of trash. I don’t know how much rain they’ve received in recent weeks, but if it’s like here, it will be muddy there as well. Tra Vinh is certainly not as nice as HCMC, or Can Tho, but I believe the people are wonderful and warm. Many of the kids, though, are quite shy—more than they are in the larger cities. Another thing for you to know is that most people in this area are former Khmer Rouge immigrants and none of them have an education…which is why we are there. See you soon!

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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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