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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

More art of the Vietnam/American War

December
14

In his interview tonight on Cosmos FM, my father reiterated his pleasant surprise at how the Vietnamese people very warmly welcomed us and other Americans, especially veterans, 40 years after the war. As I posted earlier, this enthusiasm occasionally caused some cognitive dissonance for us, as we would pass memorials and artistic renderings of the “American War,” depicting us from a far less welcoming perspective.

At the Viet Cong war cemetery near the Cu Chi tunnels, we walked along a huge sculptured wall depicting the Vietnamese struggle in the “American War.” In contrast to the discomfort we felt at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City and the Cu Chi booby trap painting, we found this display kind of funny, given that the Viet Cong guerrillas are shown as quite buff and heroic, and the American soldiers as pretty weak and mean.

cemwall.jpg

(Click on the photo to view a larger image.)

After all these examples of Vietnam/American War art, the one that probably struck the balance between amusing and unpleasant was this poignant mural, part of several walls illustrating the history of Vietnam. Look at the expression on the American soldier’s face – to us, it seemed confused and shocked by the horrors around him, rather than callous, imperialistic or bloodthirsty.confusedsoldier.jpg

(Click on the photo to view a larger photo.)

This entry was posted on Friday, December 14th, 2007 at 11:32 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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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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