Smiling Sam, I never ran across any great tea or coffee places in Vietnam. Oh wait, I was too busy dodging bullets. I’ll never give my money to the Vietnamese. I gave them two years of my life, that is plenty.
Ndvb - I can understand your feeling. Everyone has personal experiences that to some degree drive their likes, dislikes, etc. There may not be any of the WWII veterans, survivors that still travel, but they might have similar feelings about places in Europe or Japan.
There are not many WWII veterans left at all, but I know of one who still travels, that being my 96 year old husband. He does not speak much of his time in the war, but several years ago he reunited with his best friend from high school, both of who served. My husband, bless his heart, embraced his Japanese American friend and apologized...for doing what he did.
And yes, we will travel this November on a Tauck tour.
I would like to respond to my fellow veteran(ndvb) regarding his comment.
I also served in Vietnam as a young Marine and was seriously wounded. Although it wasn't an easy decision, a few years ago I decided to return for a visit and was pleasantly surprised. Our tour group consisted of mostly Americans and we were treated with kindness and respect by the Vietnamese people. In fact here in the Orlando we have a very large community of Vietnamese immigrants. They are hard working, family oriented people. Our U.S. Congresswoman (although I don't agree with her politically, sorry) is the daughter of Vietnamese "boat people". They came here, worked hard and educated their children and are wonderful neighbors.
I truly understand and respect ndvb's feeling and thank for for his service. We must all deal with our "demons" in our own way.
I have no “demons” from the Vietnam War. I have no issues with the Vietnamese folks in the USA. I was a Navy Corpsman attached the to a Marine grunt unit until I was wounded and got malaria and dysentery. After getting out of the hospital, I flew Medivacs. It was just a job. All I was concerned with was taking care of my Marines. (Which is more than I can say about the current administration. No apologies to his supporters.)
As far as returning to Vietnam, I won’t go because I don’t want to give them my money (a good motivation for being treated politely and kindly.) and support their economic and political regimes. I feel the same about Cuba and China. What other people do, or don’t do, is up the them. That’s the nice thing about freedom. You decided to go and visit and I have no issues with that. It sounds like you enjoyed the trip.
I’ve been to WWII sites in Britain and France. They are amazing places to see. My father and stepfather both served in the Pacific Theater, with my father’s ship having been sunk by a Japanese submarine. The father-in-law was in the second wave at D-Day. All came home, worked hard, and raised their families. My dad is still around at 95 years old, but sad to say, the others are not.
I came home, as well, and raised my family. No bad feelings toward Vietnamese people, then or now. It’s a system thing.
You’re welcome. My brothers and sisters in uniform were my family for four years. Their health and safety were paramount to me. I’m glad a Navy Corpsman did his job and saved your life. Semper Fortis.