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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

Archive for the 'POW/MIA' Category

Climate, currency may inspire a re-return to Vietnam

December
6

On this freezing New York winter day, with my nose turning fuchsia and my father bundled up like South Park’s Kenny just to do some yard work, we needed a photo like this to remind ourselves we were in sunny, warm Vietnam – standing on the top of the Black Virgin Mountain – just a few weeks ago.

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Butch Sincock, a Vietnam veteran who runs MilSpec Tours, said more veterans have been returning to Vietnam in recent years because as they retire, they have more free time and money, and some of their physical and emotional wounds have healed, or at least formed scar tissue. Some are also motivated because their children are now adults who can share in their journey. All of the above apply to my father, but as he begins contemplating a re-return next year, he tells people the hot climate and the fact that everyone there takes U.S. dollars are also excellent reasons to visit Vietnam…

Posted by Nicole Neroulias on Thursday, December 6th, 2007 at 7:12 pm |
| | 1 Comment »

More returns from Vietnam: MIAs, volunteers

December
3

As I wrote in my story last week, there are still nearly 1,800 Americans listed by the Department of Defense as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, including 124 from New York.

As Vietnam veterans and their former enemies have shared information in recent years, those numbers have gradually decreased. Thanks to ongoing excavations prompted by interviews with North Vietnamese soldiers,  Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) has just announced the remains of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Maurice H. Moore, of Baltimore, Md., missing in action since 1968, have been identified and will be buried with full military honors tomorrow.

On Friday, the DPMO also announced the identification of the remains of U.S. Air Force Maj. Robert F. Woods, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Air Force Capt. Johnnie C. Cornelius, of Maricopa County, Ariz. Both had also been missing since 1968.

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This Bernie Duff painting, “Price Tags,” came to mind when we heard this news.

It’s an interesting, perhaps appropriate coincidence that these fallen veterans finally flew home nearly the same time as two of the volunteers we met last month: Kim Browne, the British woman who was one of the last babies airlifted out of Saigon in 1975, and Jennifer Weaver, the recent college graduate from Seattle. Both spent the past month volunteering at the Go Vap Orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City. (I imagine that they’re pretty jet lagged – my father and I are still recovering! – but I expect to have some updates on their overall experiences soon.)

By the way, Kim told me to make sure to let readers know that if they want to help kids like Wang and Hien at the Go Vap Orphanage and other institutions in Vietnam, it’s better to give time or equipment, not money. Not sure why that is – but I’ll let you know when she gets back in touch.

Posted by Nicole Neroulias on Monday, December 3rd, 2007 at 2:10 pm |
| | Comments Off on More returns from Vietnam: MIAs, volunteers

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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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