February 2024
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Saigon Kid Going Back To Vietnam

by Cathie McIntyre (ACS)

I never made it to Hue while living in Vietnam, but soon I will be there.

In late December 2013 I will fly to Saigon for a few days before heading on to Hue where I will teach English for three months with NGO Hue Help.

I am excited!

3 comments to Saigon Kid Going Back To Vietnam

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Oh how I envy you. Never made it there during the SK time or with the Army. The draw of Saigon gets stronger but the pocket is weaker. Some day, perhaps, but hell, we none of us are getting younger. Enjoy it, Cathie.

  • Sarah Rogers

    Cathie, how wonderful! Kandi and I did see Hue when we did out first return trip. The old city had really been hit hard by the war and I wonder if some has been restored. It was a great place to visit.
    At the same time you will be in Hue, I will be in Mandalay for a medical mission. Only 11 days however, not three months. I am excited though and looking forward to giving back.

  • frank

    My son and I thought that Hue had the poorest looking people of any city we visited in Vietnam in 2009. I think I know why that was the case. Perhaps it was the most northern City, of a good size, in what had been South Vietnam. Hue had also became a symbol of residents to communist north.
    I was in Hue in February 1968. My great memory was running across a bridge that was constructed of wood planks. The NVA had blown the original bridge up (in 2009 I finally found some older folks..mostly young people live in hue, and asked them who blew the bridge up..I did not know if we did or the NVA..They told me the NVA). My son and I found the bridge (The 3rd bridge to the east and on the curve of the Perfume River) and this new bridge looked old, but was rebuilt in the 1980’s.
    The other thing I remember, from 1968) is that all the windows in every house and buildings, including a big church, were broken. Glass was everywhere. All the automobiles were shot up and going nowhere. No people were on the streets.
    We (son and I in 2009) talked to a very nice Vietnamese man who was the owner of a small restaurant. He told my son that his father was very lucky. He then went on to tell us about himself. He had been in the South Vietnamese Air Force. After the “Fall” he spent many years in Re-education. After that he was not allowed to go on to higher education or to get a good job. He told us that the war really “messed him up”. He said he has a constant struggle dealing with life. His father and all his uncles were taken out of there house and killed in 1968.
    Hue is one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam, but it also has a very ugly side. In 1968, Marines were told to use minimal firepower so as not to destroy the old city. After three weeks, south Vietnamese pilots, with propeller aircraft bombed one wall, in order to breach the old city walls. Believe me, the U.S. tried to minimize damage to this old city. Marines died by achieving this. I think it was, and maybe still is popular to “put down” our young men (and most of the U.S. policies) during that conflict, but I personally saw more compassion..caring about the cities, and the people, and especially the little kids from the American G.I. then I ever saw the opposite.
    Cathie, I wish I could visit you while you are there and buy you a “red” bottle of wine. You know I still owe you. While you are there, I hope you think about 1968.

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