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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

Meeting the family of the ‘girl in the picture’

November
19

After visiting Cu Chi on Veterans Day, my father and I stopped for an unforgettable lunch in Trang Bang: at the roadside noodle shop owned by the family of Kim Phuc, the famous “girl in the picture” who was photographed fleeing, screaming, naked down the road after a napalm attack in 1972. The humble shop is next to the town’s colorful Cao Dai temple, but aside from that and the photos of Kim – then and now – on the wall, we never would have found it without our tour guide.

During our meal, we met Kim’s adorable 3-year-old great-nephew, Dang Khoi Ho. He was shy at first, but warmed up after my father gave him three of my chocolate chip granola bars. (I didn’t need them that day anyway – the soup was delicious!)

littleboy.jpg

And here, with my father—quite a change from the photo this family is most famous for:

littleboy2.jpg

This entry was posted on Monday, November 19th, 2007 at 2:39 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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4 Responses to “Meeting the family of the ‘girl in the picture’”

  1. Lam Thuy Vo

    I’m very happy you actually got to talk to Kim Phuc. I met her at a conference in Berlin once and she is incredibly charismatic. Have you ever checked out a photo essay by Perry Kretz, a Stern magazine photographer who was able to fly her to Germany and get medical treatment there? The pictures and the story is breath-taking. Keep up the wonderful work!

    Lam

  2. Lana Noone

    Thank you very much Nicole for this series and for including Operation Babylift” and Bernie Duff’s painting of my husband, my first child and me via “Heather’s Homecoming Day.”
    I invite all readers to visit my website at:
    http://www.Vietnambabylift.org
    for details and resources related to “Operation Babylift”, Vietnam, April, 1975.
    I believe Babylift was one of the most important humanitarian events of the 20th Century.
    It changed the “complexion” of the United States and ushered in the wave of international adoption prevalent in the US today.
    Best regards,
    Lana Noone
    http://www.Vietnambabylift.org
    Lana@Vietnambabylift.org

  3. Return to Vietnam » Blog Archive » Finding Jesus (Buddha and Confucius, too) at the Cao Dai Holy See

    [...] A veteran, his daughter, their journey « Meeting the family of the ‘girl in the picture’ [...]

  4. Nicole Neroulias

    Clarification: We didn’t meet Kim Phuc, who now lives in Canada; we met some of her relatives, who still live in Trang Bang. But, maybe she’ll see this blog and get in touch!

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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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