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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

‘Crazy’ Vietnam veterans indeed…


In hopes of squashing the stereotype of the “crazy Vietnam vet,” I used to have my father visit my social studies classes at Briarcliff High School. He would wear his Army uniform and shiny medals, and give calm, rational answers to all the questions, even including “do you have flashbacks?” and “do you know anyone who went crazy over there?”

Well, all our ground work may have gone out the window yesterday, as we watched Rockland County veterans Jeffrey Keahon of Pearl River and Howard Goldin of Monsey spontaneously shell out almost $18,000 to help get the Rose School finished for about 450 young children living in Vietnam’s central highlands.


This happened during the Spring Valley Rotary Club‘s holiday party at the River Club in Nyack, after Sister Therese Minh,sistertherese.jpg a Dominican sister from Ho Chi Minh City who has just started a two-month fundraising tour of Rotary Clubs and Vietnamese Catholic groups across America, gave a status report on the school – which needs another $100,000 to get built, due to rising materials costs.

Make that another $80,000, after the contributed “happy bucks” from the Rotary Club members, and then Keahon’s $7,800 and Goldin’s $10,000 matching donation, raised $20,000 for the club’s Schools to End Poverty (STEP) program – The Rose School’s biggest benefactor.

“These guys are nuts,” my father said, shaking his head with admiration, astonishment and a bit of concern. “I hope they don’t have any kids going to college or getting married soon.”

Click on the audio link below to hear all of Sister Therese’s remarks about The Rose School and other projects that Vietnam’s Dominican Sisters raise money to pursue; click on the video link below that to watch the second half of her speech.



Check back tomorrow for more on Sister Therese’s visit to Rockland County and our reunion with many of our fellow Vietnam travelers.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 13th, 2007 at 5:43 pm by Nicole Neroulias. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Rotary Club, Vietnam veterans, Vietnam veterans



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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