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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

Vietnamese, Cambodian kids show Rockland spirit

November
23

Just a quick note today – but check back tomorrow for my story in The Journal News about what Rotary Club members from Spring Valley and other Lower Hudson Valley towns are doing to help at-risk Vietnamese children stay in school.

And for those of you just tuning in, directed here by Nancy Cutler’s In Focus: Rockland blog, or Bernie Duff’s blog:

piermont2.jpg

During our recent trip, my father and I couldn’t help but smile at the sight of American T-shirts and hats on Vietnamese and Cambodian children. (While traveling south through the sweltering Mekong Delta, our group even saw a village teenager keeping cool in a D.A.R.E. T-shirt from Los Angeles, and a dusty little boy wearing a New York Yankees baseball hat!)

Of course, the kids we met don’t realize what they’re wearing; they were just happy to have some new clothes. But, it’s still nice to know we’ve left our mark – literally, in the form of local logos, in addition to all the medical supplies, toiletries, vitamins, toys and other donations we helped distribute. Maybe the next time travelers from the Lower Hudson Valley are in Vietnam, they’ll be pleasantly surprised to meet a small child proudly wearing a Piermont P.A.L. T-shirt…

This entry was posted on Friday, November 23rd, 2007 at 4:27 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 “Vietnamese, Cambodian kids show Rockland spirit”

  1. Doc Bernie Duff

    On behalf of all of the kids in the garbage pits of Tra Vinh, Bao Anh and I would like to thanks each of you for the love and support you have shown them. Obviously, they have no way of saying thank you themselves…the Internet is not something these kids have ever seen, or even given much thought to. Still, if you all just close your eyes and feel the magic of their love, and thankfulness, they send it to you from half way around the world from you. Yes, they are wearing all of the clothes, the hats and have safely tucked away the other many treasures delivered to them from angels they have never imagined existed. In their world, life goes on as it always does…in the garbage pits of Tra Vinh. Cam on nhieu New York!

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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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