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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

Calling all local Vietnam veterans

November
30

One of the greatest rewards of this Return to Vietnam project has been the opportunity to meet so many other veterans, particularly from the Lower Hudson Valley: Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties. My family has lived in Briarcliff for 20 years, but my father was always too busy commuting to Manhattan and volunteering with numerous Greek American organizations to do much with local Vietnam veteran groups. Also, as a grateful immigrant, an officer (as opposed to a draftee) and someone who had remained in the military, he felt he had a different perspective on the Vietnam War than the more vocal veterans out there.

But, now that he has retired and we’ve spent months exploring these issues, we’re finding plenty of other Vietnam veterans and family members, some within a 15-minute drive, who can relate. Thanks to this project and yesterday’s editorial in The Journal News, my father has discovered an entire community to share stories with – the funny ones as well as the traumas.
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For example, Karen Petrellese of Yonkers wrote to us this week about how much her father – fellow 25th Infantry Division Vietnam veteran Gregory Kanych Sr. – and his friends have appreciated this project. The Army buddies were recently featured in a Veterans Day story in The Leader-Herald, as the subjects of a painting showing them reunited at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

We also heard from Johnny Blalock Sr. of Mount Vernon, asking for more information about our visit to the Black Virgin Mountain. A Sleepy Hollow High School graduate, he served with the 175th Aviation Company (“The Outlaws”) in the Mekong Delta, but was shot down by the mountain on Dec. 26, 1966.

Stay tuned this week for the story he requested.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 30th, 2007 at 6:04 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 “Calling all local Vietnam veterans”

  1. Adult blog » Blog Archive » Calling all local Vietnam veterans

    [...] at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. We also heard from Johnny Blalock Sr., of Mount Vernon, … http://vietnam.lohudblogs.com/2007/11/30/calling-all-local-vietnam-veterans/ Return to Vietnam [...]

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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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