Vietnam Time

3/8/2019 9:59:38 AM

US veterans trip to Vietnam stirs emotions

This week more than 50 US veterans made their way to Vietnam, the country where they fought almost half a century ago.
 

Emotions were high as Local 5 was there to see them off Sunday.

"Kind of looking forward to seeing how much the country has changed in the last 50 years."

That was the feeling of one veteran Local 5 spoke to before they embarked to southeast Asia.

So far it's been a trip of reconciliation with the enemy.

"One of the things that touched them is the fact that these people are at peace, that there’s prosperity," says Scott Delsart, board member for the Old Glory Honor Flight. "They’re running their own businesses, they’re happy, versus when the vets were here the civilians were really the tragedy of the war, because they were caught between both sides."

An expedition of emotion.

"One of our veterans, Keith Johnson, spread his brother's ashes who had served in the Mekong Delta with the ninth infantry and he always wanted to return to Vietnam, but he had never did," says Delsart. "Yesterday he was able to bring his brother's ashes and spread them there. There was not a dry eye among these 52 veterans."

Most importantly the vets have used this trip to make peace with themselves after being ravaged by nightmares for decades.

"And it helps me a lot of times just to talk about Vietnam," says veteran Wayne Pierret. "Like I said, it’ll tear me up. But it gets here, on my chest, and this gets it out and I get rid of some of that stuff."

And to realize the country they fought in is not how they left it.

"For them to see the civilian kind of in peace now and they’ve spoken with civilians, they’ve spoken with children," says Delsart. "It just puts them at ease over some of the things that happened here 50 years ago."

The veterans will come back to the US March 9th.

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