What America owes Vietnam it can never repay, though there are many Americans in the U.S. and Vietnam today, including veterans, who are striving mightily and in myriad ways to contribute to the physical and spiritual healing process.
The “Nam,” as some of you still think of it, this country of your dreams and your nightmares, this place in time and mind that will forever be a part of you psychologically, spiritually and, in some cases, physically, survived everything our country threw at it. The story of Việt Nam is one of the great and glorious sagas of history, a nation that exemplifies in nearly ideal terms the resilience, courage, and strength of the human spirit.
So come (back), be ennobled, uplifted and, quite possibly, transformed. The moment you step off the plane you will begin to experience the “new history” that is Vietnam today; your old memories will be overlaid with new ones. Vietnam and its people may even cast their spell on you and inspire you to join your fellow veterans in the U.S. and in-country who are working alongside Vietnamese colleagues to help mitigate the impact of war legacies.
Click here to read the rest of this 29 April 2013 Huffington Post essay.