Saturday, September 27, 2008


A couple of weeks ago I had a comment from LH in Kentucky. He was responding to my first post about Hayden and wrote:

Dear Ben,
I hope your friend Hayden recovers quickly. The jungles of southeast Asia aren't very forgiving to those how get lost in them.
I've been reading your blog for about a month now and have enjoyed reading about your experiences very much. I'm a disabled Marine combat veteran and I spent alot of time in the jungles of Vietnam. I also put alot of time in the QueSon mountains.
I've always wanted to return to Vietnam and experience all the good things Vietnam and it's people have to offer. But for now I guess I'll live vicariously through your adventures.
You and your family have my prayers for your safety while from home.
Have you ever been to Quang Tri or Quang Nam? If so' please write about them on your blog if you have time.
All The Best, LH (in Kentucky)

LH's comment got me thinking: I haven't met any American Vets from the Vietnam War since moving to Vietnam. My only brush with a American Vet was when I was taking my two week training course in Cambodia. While on a break at the university in Phnom Penh, I had a brief conversation with an American. The guy, who to me looked like he was in his early 40s, asked me what I was doing. I told him I was taking a course to get my TEFL since I'd be teaching in Vietnam. The guy just kind of shook his head and said, "You're going to Vietnam? Cambodia is as close as I can come to going there." Naively I asked him why -- again, thinking he was way too young to have served -- and he said to me, "Because I spent a lot of time there awhile ago." I was shocked and blurted out, "You served in the war? You look way too young." He told me he was nearly sixty and assured me he wasn't crossing the border back into 'Nam anytime soon. The point is, he's the only Veteran I've met in six months in southeast Asia. I know there are a ton out here, but I just haven't met them.

Anyway, I'm glad that LH is reading my blog and is taking an interest in Vietnam and its people. Conversely, I've talked about the war here with many Vietnamese people, and not one has said that they or anyone in their family fought in the war.