How small and sour-grapes our postwar punishment of Vietnam, our trade and diplomatic embargoes that keep the country in economic ruin. How self-punishing and miserly in American spirit are these policies. How much better it would be for our national pride if we offered this country our help, for it is we and those who threw in their lot with us who seem to dwell in needless quandary, who live lives punctuated by active resentments and pain.

Go visit Vietnam, I’d tell the troubled vets. Go visit, if you can, and do something good there, and your pain won’t seem so private, your need for resentment so great.

-John Balaban in “Remembering Heaven’s Face: A Moral Witness in Vietnam” (1991)

Remembering Heaven’s Face

Book, Quote

Reader mail: Paul C. Steffy

Book, Novel
"The Good Soldier" at home with my other Vietnam books. (Photo by Nissa Rhee)

“The Good Soldier” at home with my other Vietnam books. (Photo by Nissa Rhee)

A few weeks ago, I received a book in the mail from Vietnam War veteran Paul C. Steffy. It’s a novel about a veteran who returns to Vietnam to “lessen his war grief and post-traumatic stress disorder” and to better understand a gift he received from an elderly woman during the war. Needless to say, it’s a topic that’s right up my alley and the book has found a good home on my bookshelf.

If you’re interested in reading Paul’s book, “The Good Soldier,” you can find it here on Amazon. Paul was kind enough to autograph my copy.

Paul's autograph

My story in Guernica

Articles, Photograph, Veterans, Vietnam
Graffiti from a Marine unit on an abandoned Iraqi military barracks shows the Iraqi and American flags in 2003. Photo taken by Benjamin Busch.

Graffiti from a Marine unit on an abandoned Iraqi military barracks shows the Iraqi and American flags in 2003. Photo taken by Benjamin Busch.

My essay on the return of veterans to Iraq was published in Guernica Magazine today. You can read it here. And if you’d like to see some more photos taken by Marine vet Benjamin Busch, you can check out this feature in the War, Literature and Arts journal.

47th Anniversary of the My Lai Massacre

Travel, Veterans, Vietnam, War sites

Tomorrow is the 47th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre, in which American soldiers killed 500 unarmed Vietnamese in 1968. Every year at this time, US veteran Mike Boehm plays his violin at My Lai as an offering to the spirits of the dead and for those still living in the area.

While Boehm was not involved in the massacre during the war, he says that My Lai represents the darkness of the whole American conflict in Vietnam. Since 1994, his organization MQI has been providing support to the people of My Lai and Quang Ngai Provence in central Vietnam. In honor of the anniversary, I’m posting a Vietnamese documentary about Boehm and the legacy of the massacre. You can watch the first part above and the rest below.

To find out more about My Lai today, you can read about my trip to Quang Ngai here and here.

A Marine Returns to Iraq

Book, Veterans, War sites
Benjamin Busch in 2003 during the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Benjamin Busch in 2003 during the U.S. invasion of Iraq. (Photo by Sgt. James Letsky, via Facebook).

I just finished reading a fascinating article by Marine Corps veteran Benjamin Busch about his return to Iraq a decade after he served there. Busch first went to Iraq in 2003 to lead a light armored reconnaissance company. He served as provincial military mayor of the desert town Jassan, near the Iranian border, and was part of some early democratic efforts in the region. After leaving Iraq, Busch had a successful career as an actor and writer, penning a memoir about his time as a solider called Dust to Dust in 2012. Throughout his ten year absence, however, he wondered what had happened to Jassan and the people he had come to know there. So in December 2013 he returned to Jassan to find out, a trip that the US State Department emphatically tried to dissuade him from taking.

He told The Takeaway’s John Hockenberry what it was like to go back to Iraq:

It was very interesting, because driving through the country in 2003 I had been way up on top of a light armored reconnaissance vehicle. I kind of had viewed even the road from a position of height. And now I was in the back of a cab. I had lost all of my authority. I had grown a beard and I had gone in disguise as much as I could. I wanted to find out what they thought of me and us. The sad thing about Iraq, of course, is that they kind of have come to a point where the future is an impossible world. No one gets to live there. They’re living day to day. They really feel that as bad as things are right now, it will get worse.

Busch said that by returning to Iraq, “I realized finally my place in history.” I hope that other Iraq War vets will have the same opportunity in the years to come.

Ken Herrmann, veteran activist, dies at 71

Humanitarian, Travel, Veterans, Vietnam
Ken Herrmann meets with Vietnamese representatives in 2010.

Kenneth Herrmann meets with Vietnamese representatives in 2010. (Credit: The Batavian)

I was sad to learn that Vietnam War veteran and activist Kenneth Herrmann died recently. Ken was a Social Work professor at SUNY Brockport in New York, but I knew him from his work as the founder of the Da Nang/Quangnam Fund and the Brockport Vietnam program. The program and fund brought university students from the United States to Vietnam for a semester to work with victims of Agent Orange and to learn about Vietnamese culture. Ken believed that by “working alongside our Vietnamese staff in Danang, students act as ambassadors of goodwill, repairing relationships and learning about a nation both villainized and victimized by the American government and media.”

I was able to meet with the fund’s staff and some of the students studying in Vietnam when I was in Da Nang last year. After chatting in their dorm, I went with them to a school for children affected by Agent Orange. The American students spent a couple hours helping the kids with arts and crafts projects and playing with them in the school’s courtyard. The visit ended with a dance party featuring Psy’s 2012 hit “Gangnam Style.”

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Children at a school for Agent Orange victims dance to Psy’s “Gangnam Style” — something they learned from the American students in the Brockport Vietnam program. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, January 2013)

When I asked American college student Felisa Erway what she knew about Vietnam before she began her study abroad program, she said “not much.” She said that some of her peers at the university warned her not to go, however.

“They said, oh you’re going to get shot,” she recalled. “They’re going to kidnap you. The people are going to see you as the enemy. You know, being suspicious about being an American in Vietnam.” She said that some other university students even told her that Americans had won the war in Vietnam. “A lot of people have false ideas about Vietnam,” she said.

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American student Felisa Erway with an Agent Orange victim in Da Nang, Vietnam. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, January 2013)

While no one in Felisa’s family served in the Vietnam War, she talked with some veterans her mother knew before coming to Vietnam. She was surprised to learn that some of them actually served in the area she was going to live.

“A couple of my mom’s coworkers did serve in Vietnam and they said they actually were in Da Nang. And they told me it was beautiful. And a lot of veterans that my mom talked to wanted to come back. Or they thought it was really pretty, they wished it was someplace they could see again.”

Felisa said that when she returned to the United States she was going to try to convince some of the veterans and her fellow students to come to Vietnam. She also wants to tell people about the victims of Agent Orange she met in Da Nang and how the war of the 1960s is still affecting people on the ground in Vietnam.

IMG_0640

American students Apostolos Hatzigiannidis and Felisa Erway with Agent Orange victims at a school in Da Nang, Vietnam. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, January 2013)

Spreading the word about Agent Orange among young people is one of the fund’s main goals, says the fund’s Vietnamese head Nguyen My Hoa.

“Young americans live in the states and they take everything for granted,” she told me. “When they come here, they see people living in hardship. These are the innocent people. They didn’t do anything to threaten Americans. They didn’t do anything to cause any harm to Americans. But then they have to live the rest of their life with a disability caused by the war. So this is a lesson for the students.”

Hopefully the Da Nang/Quang Nam Fund will survive the loss of Ken Herrmann and continue doing good work in Vietnam. You can learn more about the fund here and read some of the 4,000 letters the fund collected from Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange over the years.

Friendship Village

Photograph, Protest, Travel, Veterans, Vietnam
Nissa and Friendship Village Director Dang Vu Dung

Director Dang Vu Dung and I pose in Friendship Village’s reception room.

When I was in Hanoi this summer, I visited Friendship Village, a community founded by an American veteran in the early years after the war as a symbol of peace and reconciliation. Thanks to the continuing support of American veterans and their families, the village has since grown into a large residential school and medical center that serves 70 Vietnamese veterans and 120 children affected by Agent Orange.

The village is run by Director Dang Vu Dung, a North Vietnamese Army veteran of the US-Vietnam War. He served in Quang Tri Province starting in 1972 and was tasked with ensuring that the North Vietnamese troops had enough food. After retiring from the military, Dung came to Friendship Village and met American veterans for the first time.

“I discovered that American veterans are very friendly,” he told me when we met. “American veterans and North Vietnamese vets now work well together. We’ve closed the door on the past and opened the door to the future, and we have become friends with each other.”

When I asked Dung if he had any negative feelings toward the American people after the war, he said no.

“During the war, I knew that there were people in the US protesting the war in Vietnam. The US veterans were very young and forced to come to Vietnam by the American government. But they didn’t understand much about Vietnam.”

Plaque in front of Friendship Village's main school

The dedication plaque on Friendship Village’s main school building. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

One of those Americans protesting the war was George Mizo, the American veteran who first conceived of Friendship Village in 1988. George volunteered for the Army at age 17 and became the youngest sergeant in the US military by the time he was 19. He eventually made his way to Vietnam, where he was wounded three times. George became disillusioned with the military’s mission in Vietnam and the Army’s treatment of Vietnamese civilians. After recovering from his battle injuries, George refused to return to Vietnam and was court-martialed. He spent the next two years in a military prison.

But George’s experience in Vietnam was far from over. Thirteen years after the fall of Saigon, he made his way back to Vietnam, determined to make a positive difference there. He said of the trip: “The horrible experiences during the war and the suffering of everybody on all sides inspired me to do something that would be a living symbol of peace, reconciliation and hope.”

After extensive discussions with Vietnamese veterans along with peace activists from France, Germany, Japan and the United States, George’s “living symbol” — Friendship Village — finally opened in 1998.

Students in computer lab at Friendship Village

Students can learn a number of computer programs at Friendship Village, including Photoshop and Microsoft Excel and Word. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Friendship Village classroom

Students practice their writing and arithmetic in a Friendship Village classroom. American volunteers have painted murals in the classrooms and dorms. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014).

Peace sign student

A Friendship Village student takes a break from her cursive lesson to pose for the camera. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Sixteen years on, the students and veterans at Friendship Village are thriving. Three students have gone on to college after graduating from the school. Despite the challenges the students face in getting admitted, one student I met told me that he hopes to go to university and become a writer someday. Others will use their new skills to find jobs as hair stylists and artisans in their communities back home.

A student practices embroidery in a classroom at Friendship Village.

A student practices embroidery in a classroom at Friendship Village. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Beauty salon at Friendship Village

In Friendship Village’s newest venture, students learn how to wash and style hair. The hope is that such training will allow the students to find jobs in beauty salons. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014).

While George passed away in 2002 from an illness linked to his wartime exposure to Agent Orange, American veterans and their families continue to be involved in the village today. Veterans like Don Blackburn are members of the village’s international board and spend time raising money for the Vietnamese students and veterans who rely on the village for support. Additionally, the village hosts a large roster of international volunteers and interns who do everything from paint murals in the classrooms to teach the students math and photography.

When I met up with Don last summer, he read for me a poem he wrote after visiting Friendship Village for the first time in 2005. “In this village, humanity makes a stand,” the poem goes. “Here, in the eyes of the stricken who survive, / in the hearts of those who work and give, / I see a reason to hope, dream, and live.”

The poem — entitled “For Friendship Village” — can be found in his book “All You Have Given: Meditations on War, Peace & Reconciliation.” A portion of the proceeds from the book benefits Friendship Village.

Reader Letters: Joe Sciacca

Reader Letters, Veterans, Vietnam

In the latest installment of Reader Letters, I’d like to introduce you to Vietnam War veteran Joe Sciacca.

If you would like to share your story of the war or returning to Vietnam, send me an e-mail at nissarhee {at} gmail.com.

Joe Sciacca embraces two children he helps in Vietnam. (Photo from Ordinary Joe movie site)

Joe Sciacca spends time with children he helps in Vietnam. (Photo from Ordinary Joe movie website)

Joe Sciacca is a US Army veteran who served as an orderly in the 8th Field Hospital in Nha Trang, South Vietnam from March 1968 to April 1969. After returning to the United States and pursuing a career as a roofer on Long Island, Joe made his way back to Vietnam in 1998.

Joe contacted me earlier this summer and sent me a documentary about his charity efforts in Vietnam. The short film is called “We Do What We Can” — a fitting title for his work over the last 15 years to help poor and sick families in the Southeast Asian country.

Joe Sciacca in Vietnam during the war. (Photo from  Ordinary Joe movie site)

Joe Sciacca in Vietnam during the war. (Photo from Ordinary Joe movie website)

Joe first returned to Vietnam in 1998 as a tourist hoping to visit his old hospital. In the film, he describes how that trip led to his humanitarian work:

“[My friend] and I were down here just on vacation. We were going to take a couple of boat rides, but the weather was bad. We went back to the hotel and waiting for us in the hotel was an old nun. I don’t know how she knew we were there, but she knew we were there and she wanted to us to go visit 500 families in Hue — sick, elderly, poor and lepers. I agreed to go to five and we did. And then I came back the next year by myself and we visited 10 more houses. The year after, because of generous donations from back home, we were able to visit 30 homes.”

He now spends a couple months each year in Vietnam handing out donations he has gathered in the United States. Those who donate can ask Joe to give the money to a particular family or someone struggling with the effects of a certain medical issue, like Agent Orange or leprosy. Joe doesn’t run an official nonprofit or charity for his work; instead, he prefers to facilitate person-to-person giving by carrying money from the US to people in Vietnam.

Joe visits a boy in Hue in 2009 who is struggling with the effects of Agent Orange. (Photo from Newsday)

Joe visits a boy in Hue in 2009 who is struggling with the effects of Agent Orange. (Photo from Newsday)

In 2012, Joe told Newsday, “I live in the United States, but I’m alive in Vietnam.” For this reason, Joe says he will continue to travel to Vietnam for as long as he’s able to.

For more on Joe, check out the feature-length documentary “Ordinary Joe.” You can contact him with questions or for more information on donating at ongjon11@yahoo.com.

The DMZ: Part Two

Humanitarian, Photograph, Veterans, Vietnam
An exhibit of unexploded ordnance in the parking lot of Huu Nghi Hotel, where I was staying in Dong Ha. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

An exhibit of unexploded ordnance in the parking lot of Huu Nghi Hotel, where I stayed in Dong Ha. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

After visiting the former demilitarized zone in Vietnam in June, I spent some time with the staff of Project RENEW in Quang Tri Province. RENEW — which stands for Restoring the Environment and Neutralizing the Effects of the War — was co-founded by US Army veteran Chuck Searcy and works today on the issue of unexploded bombs in the region just south of the DMZ.

Due to heavy fighting in the area during the war, Quang Tri is the province most affected by unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Vietnam today. Project RENEW believes that 60 to 65% of the province’s land is contaminated with UXO. These bombs, which failed to explode when they were first dropped in the ’60s and ’70s, have become de facto land mines and can be incredibly dangerous when discovered.

The US military estimates that 10 percent of the bombs they dropped during the war failed to detonate. Considering that the US dropped more bombs on Vietnam than what was dropped on Japan and Germany combined during WWII — the explosive equivalent of 450 Hiroshima-size atom bombs — this is no small number.

A discarded UXO is used as a flower pot in the garden outside of the Project Renew office. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014).

A discarded UXO is used as a flower pot in the garden outside of Project RENEW’s office. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014).

With support from Norwegian People’s Aid, Project RENEW is working to make Quang Tri Province safe by educating the public about the dangers of UXO and systematically finding and destroying ordnance.

To understand more about their work in Quang Tri, I met Nguyen Thanh Phu at the organization’s Mine Action Visitor’s Center in Dong Ha. RENEW opened the center in August 2011 and offers school groups, tourists and visiting dignitaries educational tours on UXO.

Project Renew's Nguyen Thanh Phu shows me the remnants of a cluster bomblet. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Project RENEW’s Nguyen Thanh Phu shows me the remnants of a cluster bomblet. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

The center showcases a wide variety of unexploded bombs, including the dangerous bomblets that are packed into cluster munitions. Phu told me that cluster munitions and M79 40 mm rifle grenades cause 45% of the injuries and deaths in Quang Tri today. Both the bomblets and grenades are small and can look like toys to any children who find them.

A child's drawing shows the discovery of UXO in a field. Students who come to Project Renew's Visitor Center are asked to draw something that they learned on their field trip. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

A child’s drawing shows the discovery of UXO in a field. Students who come to Project RENEW’s Visitor’s Center are asked to draw something that they learned on their field trip. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

The Vietnamese students who visit the center learn how to identify unexploded ordnance and what to do if they find any wartime bombs. The education program seems to be working: RENEW runs a hotline for reporting discoveries of UXO and has seen calls substantially increase in recent years.

A diorama at the Project Renew Visitor Center shows how UXO is cleared near people's homes. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

A diorama at the Project RENEW Visitor’s Center shows how UXO is cleared near people’s homes. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Visitors to the center also learn about RENEW’s bomb disposal work, which is led by their explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams. When a piece of UXO is discovered, one of the teams is dispatched to the area to assess whether the ordnance can be safely removed. If they decide it is too dangerous to touch, the team will destroy the ordnance on site, as depicted in the diorama above. If it appears relatively stable, however, the team will move the ordnance to their central demolition site where it will be destroyed at a later date.

Old and new prostheses are displayed at the Project Renew Visitor Center. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Old and new prostheses are displayed at the Project RENEW Visitor’s Center. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Since it was founded in 2001, RENEW has also worked with the survivors of bomb explosions to regain their mobility and financial independence. RENEW provides survivors with 2,000 to 3,000 prostheses each year. The organization also started a mushroom farming program that gives survivors the equipment and skills necessary to grow mushrooms at their homes. The mushrooms are later sold at market.

Project Renew's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team Leader Mai Van Viet shows me a map of the detonation site. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014).

Project RENEW’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team Leader Mai Van Viet shows me a map of the central demolition site. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014).

After visiting the Mine Action center, I went with Phu to RENEW’s central demolition site to see the work of an EOD team first hand. Last year, RENEW’s EOD teams safely removed and destroyed 2,882 UXO in Quang Tri and cleared ordnance from 133 acres of land.

At the site, team leader Mai Van Viet showed me the many precautions the team takes before a demolition. All visitors must sign in when they enter the site and provide the team medic with their contact information and blood type. An emergency response vehicle is on hand in case there are any problems. And all cell phones must be put in airplane mode in case the cell signal accidentally triggers one of the old bombs.

Viet shows me the dump where they store conventional UXO before they destroy it. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Viet shows me the dump where they store conventional UXO before they destroy it. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

All ordnance brought to the site is stored in a dump until they are ready to be destroyed. Conventional UXO are stored in a dry dump, while phosphorous bombs are stored underwater to prevent any accidental explosions.

Phosphorous bombs must be stored in a special water-filled dump to prevent them from exploding. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014).

Phosphorous bombs must be stored in a special water-filled dump to prevent them from exploding. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014).

Once the team is ready to destroy the UXO, they move the ordnance from the dump to the center of the demolition site.

When an EOD team is ready to destroy ordnance, they move the bombs to a special sand-filled staging area. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

When an EOD team is ready to destroy ordnance, they move the bombs to a special sand-filled staging area. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Multiple bombs are destroyed at once. On the day I visited, the team was detonating several naval artillery shells and white phosphorous bombs (like napalm) — all of which were launched by Americans during the war.

Sandbags are then placed on top of the UXO to prevent debris from flying when they are detonated. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Sandbags are then placed on top of the UXO to prevent debris from flying when they are detonated. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Sandbags are used to muffle the explosion and prevent debris from flying when the bombs are detonated.

Finally, the EOD team lays down the explosives that will destroy the ordnance. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Finally, the EOD team lays down the explosives that will destroy the ordnance. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

While I was there, the EOD team set up two detonations — one for conventional bombs and one for phosphorous bombs. The phosphorous bombs in particular require a lot of high explosives, since the teams must destroy both the bomb’s casing and booster.

Once the explosives have been laid, everyone moves to the set watch posts which are 500 meters away (1/3 mile) away from the planned demolitions.

The detonation of the phosphorous bombs releases a cloud of dust and fire. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

The detonation of the phosphorous bombs releases a cloud of dust and fire. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Even from such a distance, however, the demolitions are impressive. When the phosphorous bombs are detonated, they shoot clouds of fire into the sky.

The EOD team and I stand behind the crater that formed from one of the detonations. (Photo by Nguyen Thanh Phu, June 2014)

The EOD team and I stand behind the crater that formed from one of the detonations. (Photo by Nguyen Thanh Phu, June 2014)

After the demolitions, we wait for the all clear before moving to the center of the site. In the distance, I can hear the booms of other explosions. RENEW’s Colonel Bui Trong Hong tells me that it’s the Vietnamese military practicing nearby at one of their bases. With the recent fracas between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea (or as the Vietnamese call it, the East Sea), the military is preparing for the possibility of an armed conflict.

“The Vietnamese are peace lovers, but we are always ready to fight,” Hong says with a grin.

Hong is the most experienced deminer at the site today — he is certified to level 3 in the International Mine Action Standards and replaced RENEW’s international technical advisor. He is also a veteran of the Vietnamese military and fought with the North Vietnamese military near the DMZ during the war.

When Saigon fell in 1975, Hong was one of thousands of people recruited to clear land mines and bombs from much-needed farmland. Their methods were primitive by today’s standards: often they would just stand in a line and use long bamboo poles to poke the land in front of them to find ordnance.

The difference between those early efforts at clearance and the work at Project RENEW is stark, with everything from the technology to the people involved changing.

“Today at Project Renew, we have North Vietnamese veterans working alongside the children of Viet Cong vets – like myself – and an American veteran,” RENEW’s Phu tells me. “All of us are working together.”

Do Thien Dang and I pose in his front yard. Do lost both of his legs when he stepped on a landmine in 1980. (June 2014)

Do Thien Dang and I pose in his front yard. Do lost both of his legs when he stepped on a land mine in 1980. On the left is one of the bamboo stands he built for floral arrangements. (June 2014)

After the demolitions, I go with Phu and Hong to visit a UXO victim who was one of the first people to receive help from Project RENEW. Do Thien Dang lost both his legs when he stepped on a land mine in 1980 while gathering thatch in a field. Dang says that he was traumatized by the accident, which occurred when he was just 20 years old, and it took him a full three years to recover. He eventually got married and got a job selling lottery tickets on the street, but it was difficult work because he had to travel everyday.

Then, in 2003, RENEW gave him a “hanging house” to grow mushrooms on his property. The house has given him some financial independence and he can now work from home. RENEW has provided 194 families with hanging houses since they began their mushroom farming program.

Last year, Dang was able to bring in 5 million dong ($236) from his mushroom-growing business. In the dry season — when growing mushrooms is not possible — Dang builds bamboo stands for floral arrangements, which he sells at $1 a piece to local florists.

Do Thien Dang's hanging house, where he grows mushrooms during the wet season. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

Do Thien Dang’s hanging house, where he grows mushrooms during the wet season. It was the dry season when I visited, so Dang was storing his bamboo stands there are the moment. (Photo by Nissa Rhee, June 2014)

When I ask Dang if he remembers meeting US veteran and RENEW cofounder Chuck Searcy, he smiles and nods.

“I really appreciate and am thankful for what Chuck as a vet has been doing here for our country and especially Quang Tri,” Dang says. “Chuck brings support for me and for others who are very much in need in Vietnam.”