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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

Vietnam veterans: ‘We never felt safe’

November
14

Sorry for the posting delay, folks. Internet crashed at our Can Tho hotel. We just got back to Ho Chi Minh City, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed…

Now that we’ve joined a group with 13 other Vietnam veterans, I’m seeing a different side of nature in Vietnam: the dangerous side. I don’t mean the snakes and insects, though we’ve seen plenty of those; it’s the haystacks, termite hills and mangrove patches that once served as ideal hiding places for Viet Cong guerillas, turning almost any place troops traveled into a potential death trap. In other words, as my father put it, “We never felt safe. Maybe the base camp was safer than being out in the field, but you were always a target.”

mangrove.jpg

Here’s some mangrove leaves we floated by on the Mekong Delta. Click the audio link below to hear Ed Frank, a Navy veteran, explain what made this such a dangerous plant.

Download:

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2007 at 8:54 am by Nicole Neroulias. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: PTSD, 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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