Friday, May 17, 2024

 Dear Mr. Jack,

Thanks for the story you told on your web site about the Kontum Battle in 1972. It is really interesting and informative. My few words here to you is to appreciate the contribution of US soldiers in protecting our South Vietnam and let you know one more little thing which is pretty interesting as well. I am the third child of ARVN (South VN) Colonel ... who in 1972 was the chief of ... regiment of ARVN 23rd division. He actually was promoting to Colonel after the phase III battle you described in your story. He is now 76 years old and all of us are currently residing in California.

My dad spent 12.5 years in a communist camp of concentration after the war and the whole family came to the US in 02/1992. I have a picture of his that I copied from a Vietnamese book by General Ly Tong Ba. The picture was taken a few days after the May 1972 battle, I suppose. Our family in fact had a clearer picture of my Dad taken by one of Mr. John Paul Vann's assistants with Vann's hand-writing compliments on the picture but we lost it after 1975 when the communist occupied Saigon.

One more thing, the picture of Colonel Le Duc Dat of the ARVN 22nd Division that you posted on your web site is really precious. This is the first time I saw his picture. In fact he got killed right after the NVA tanks overran his post in Tan Canh instead of being captured and moved to the North as written. One of his daughters was a high school student that I taught Physics in the early 1980s in VN. Colonel Dat's family now is residing in Europe.

Please believe that each of us Vietnamese who loves freedom always remember the sacrifice of US soldiers like you in order to protect the freedom of South VN for so many years.

Respectfully, The Daughter of a Vietnamese Veteran

REFLECTIONS: As a family, we became very involved with Vietnamese refugees after the fall of South Vietnam in April 1975. They have become part of our family. We have found the Vietnamese people to be warm, hard working and intelligent. It was very painful for me to see us abandon them in their hour of greatest need. Warriors do not leave their comrades on the field of battle - I felt we had. It amazes me how appreciative so many of those refugees have been for the service our soldiers gave to their country. Thousands of them died trying to remain free... I have received many e-mails from the Vietnamese community. Some of the e-mails are in very broken English and some have been in the Vietnamese language. All have been sincere about their feelings. They are a people who have suffered much and don't deserve to suffer anymore.

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