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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

In his own words: “Doc” Bernie Duff on his Vietnam War paintings


“Doc” Bernie Duff, an Army medic during the Vietnam War and member of Rockland County’s Vietnam Veterans of America, started painting scenes from the war five years ago, while receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He moved to Vietnam last year and now lives in Ho Chi Minh City with his girlfriend – the daughter of a former North Vietnamese military officer. (Ah, peacetime.)

While in Ho Chi Minh City and Tra Vinh, I spent a few days talking to Bernie about the related changes to his artwork and humanitarian goals. The story ran today.


Click on the video link below (or go to this YouTube page) to hear him talk about eight of his Vietnam War themed paintings: Price Tags, Frozen Heat, Childhood Lost, Nefarious Memories, Faces, More Than Friends, Bait and Snitch, and Heather’s Homecoming-Operation Babylift.


This entry was posted on Sunday, November 18th, 2007 at 2:30 am by Nicole Neroulias. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: PTSD, Vietnam veterans, Vietnam veterans



9 Responses to “In his own words: “Doc” Bernie Duff on his Vietnam War paintings”

  1. » In his own words: “Doc” Bernie Duff on his Vietnam War paintings

    [...] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here [...]

  2. Kerry "Doc" Pardue

    I have known Bernie for several years. He did the cover for my book, Poems In The Keys Of Life: Reflections of a combat medic, Publish America, April 2005. He and I both serve on the board of directors, Sharon Lane Foundation. Our board built a medical clinic in Sharon’s honor (she was the first nurse killed during combat in Vietnam).
    Bernie is a dear friend who has moved back to Vietnam and he works to help the children there. He is a remarkable man.

  3. Return to Vietnam » Blog Archive » Vietnam veterans say ‘Never Again’ to troops returning from Iraq, Aghanistan

    [...] Check it out. And, notice the similarities between this photo and Bernie Duff’s painting, above, of a U.S. soldier during the Vietnam War? Bernie calls this weary, shell-shocked expression the “thousand yard stare.” [...]

  4. Howard Goldin

    When we went to the Nam together in 2005, Bernie captured the moment I returned to the battlefield of Hoc Mon Feb. 14, 1968 and painted a very personal painting of a second frozen in time. Frank A. Beavers, a medic who saved me Oct. 3, 1967 died Valentines day at the age of 19 and the dreams continue

  5. Return to Vietnam » Blog Archive » Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh City: Vietnam veteran plays Santa Claus

    [...] “Doc” Bernie Duff, a member of Rockland County’s Vietnam Veterans of America, is gearing up for the annual tradition he started after moving to Vietnam last year: dressing up as “No En,” Santa Claus, and visiting disabled and poor Vietnamese children at local schools and institutions. You can read about his plans on his blog by clicking here. [...]

  6. Doc Bernie Duff

    As always, I am overwhelmed by the things that people say about me. It is a surreal feeling as if these words are meant for someone else, for I just feel like an average guy whose walk has taken him to many wondrous places. In each place that I have visited along this walk, I have met such wonderful and truly exceptional people, such as those who have commented here, that it is I who consider myself lucky. In 1969, when I was a young 19 year old medic (here in Vietnam) as scared as anyone has ever been, I never could have imagined the way my life would have turned out. If only people could live inside of my body and experience all that I see and feel each day, you would surely know why I consider myself the luckiest man alive!

  7. Return to Vietnam » Blog Archive » More returns from Vietnam: MIAs, volunteers

    [...] Bernie Duff painting, “Price Tags,” came to mind when we heard this [...]

  8. Merrill Smith

    I am looking for information on the status and conditions of some 13,000 Cambodian (or formerly Cambodian, as the Cambodian government has reportedly disowned them) refugees who fled to Vietnam’s Mekong Delta provinces in 1993-94? I understand the Vietnamese government says they have all naturalized or returned but I believe the “Garbage Pail Kids” of Tra Vinh maybe their descendents. (Note, I am not referring to the 9,000 or so ethnic Chinese from Cambodia living in and around Ho Chi Minh City.) If anyone knows anything about this population, please contact me at msmith-at-uscridc.org. Thanks.

  9. peter ondersma

    hi bernie. its time i wrote say happy holidays and im sure you are warmer than i am. we have snow on the ground and it is cold. i hope things are going good for you. hope to hear from you soon. your buddy pete o.

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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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