Many Americans still think the Vietnam War was unjust. They see Ho Chi Minh as a Vietnamese patriot whose only objective was the independence of his country. Thus, they believe that the US government sent combat troops to fight against Vietnam (or Vietnamese people) rather than the real enemies of the Free World.
This is to prove that the real enemies of the United States in the Vietnam War were the communists who embraced the Marxist ideology. This also proves that Ho Chi Minh was not a good guy as he maliciously disguised himself, but only a devil who heartlessly murdered hundreds of thousands of his fellow people in the name of Socialism and who launched the bloody war that resulted in 3 million deaths to serve the goal of Communist International.
There are truths that we sometimes hesitate to reveal because they might hurt the feelings of some of our friends. The Vietnam War ended almost half a century ago, but there have still been a lot of misunderstandings among our American friends, particularly the Vietnam Veterans. Our ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) soldiers had sacrificed during the war, and still, they suffered the offense on social media, mostly due to the misinformation and the superiority complex of some racist American veterans.
We don’t know how much the American soldiers were taught about Vietnam’s culture and history before they were sent to Vietnam. We guess they only learned some basic things, just enough to contact the people they rarely met. That’s why, for the past 50 years, there have been too many misunderstandings among the American public, media, and even among many soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War.
Lieutenant Nguyen Van Quoc, the Operation Officer of the 8th Regiment, lifted the poncho that covered the bunker to look at the sky. Although it was almost noon, the fog descended more and more over time and caused a thick blanket that obscured the view of the base area. Seeing the head of the S-2 Intelligence Officer peeking out at the next bunker, Quoc grumbled,
“What the weather! How do the soldiers fight in this bad condition?”
“The enemies are in the same situation!”
“Maybe they are fucking their bitches in that forest! Who knows?”
The two officers dressed up, walked to the TOC, and continued the chat.
Kien Base was built in the middle of the Iron Triangle secret zone about two kilometers from the small town of Ben Cat. The Iron Triangle is a small part of the larger triangle between the Thi Tinh River on the east and the Saigon River on the west. The acute angle is the meeting point of two rivers at Ben Cat.
On the north side, a dirt road from Ben Cat bridge ran along the river to Dau Tieng and farther to the Cambodian border. This had been, for decades, the supply route of the enemies to many famous secret zones such as war zones D, Long Nguyen, Boi Loi, Ho Bo, and Tam Giac Sat (Iron Triangle), to name a few!
The history of Vietnam is the history of a ceaseless struggle over four thousand years to survive harsh conditions and constant threats from foreign invasions. Vietnamese are peace-loving people but were pushed into a dangerous situation of extinction. They had to fight and became the finest and most experienced combatants in the South East Asia region in order to maintain their independence and conserve their distinguished culture.
The helicopters were hovering about four feet above the ground to drop the 2nd Platoon. Aspirant Chieu and the men of his 2nd Platoon quickly jumped out and spread thin in all directions to set up a security perimeter for the LZ. My CP and the 4th Platoon were in the 3rd round. Last was the 1st Platoon.
In this part of War Zone C. northwest of Lai Khe, our division base, no pocket of grassland was large enough for an ideal landing zone. We landed right on the pathway cleared by the Rome Plows of the 169th US Engineer Battalion. The Americans used giant armored bulldozers (a.k.a. Rome Plows) to create crossed pathways in the dense forest and jungle. From above, the forest looked like a large chest table or a grid formed by squares of the size 100 by 100 meters each.
I have been with the 5th ID, 4/8 Battalion for ten months and have experienced only some minor contact with the enemies until now.
The National Route 13, starting from Saigon, went to Binh Duong, An Loc, and Loc Ninh, then continued to the Snuol district of Cambodia. The alpha base was the last military post of ARVN on the south side of the border. About five kilometers north of Binh Duong, the route split at Nga Tu So. From there, the 13-bis route ran to Phu Giao, Dong Xoai, Bunard, and Phuoc Binh, the capital city of Phuoc Long Province.
Aspirant Lo Duc Tan grabbed my hand, and shouted as he pulled me down to the ground:
“Lie down. Dig in or run to that gravestone. They are shelling the mortars.”
The company was approaching Ap Nha Viet. We walked in two columns past a local cemetery and were detected by the enemy’s reconnaissance.
A fresh new graduate from the military school, I was like an apprentice who could not detect the sound of the departing mortar shells from a far distance. I even could not distinguish the sound of the mortar from that of a cannon. In great confusion, what I could do was react to what Tan said.
My battalion had just finished the supplementary training at Huynh Van Luong Training Center. Then, it was ordered to get ready for a sudden operation at Dau Tieng, Tri Tam District. We were attached to the Armored Cavalry Regiment of the US 1st Infantry Division (the Big Red One). From the training center, we were transported to Ben Tranh village, next to the famous Michelin rubber plantation. The American regiment had been at the gate of the training center with dozens of heavy tanks and APCs.
As an XO of the company, I had to go with the 3rd Platoon of Aspirant Phuong. We mounted on the APCs, one squad each. The M-113 APC was designed to carry infantrymen in its hull. However, the wall and floor made of aluminum alloy could not stand the explosion of the enemy’s B-41 RPG. The heat caused by the first RPG explosion could melt the wall to make way for the warhead to penetrate, and boom! Nothing would survive!
The Quang Tri Military Sector conference room was crowded with about thirty men eager to receive their assignment orders. They were new officers who had recently graduated from Thu Duc Infantry School and six cadets from Polwar College. They would soon depart to six sub-sectors to work closely with the RF and PF soldiers in the next three months. They were members of a political campaign vital to the republic’s destiny during the great turning point of its history.
It has been more than two years since we entered Polwar College. Now that it was the end of our long journey of tough military training and an academic curriculum. We were very excited, waiting for a beautiful day to earn the final reward as newly commissioned officers of the Vietnamese Armed Forces.
Dalat was famous for its beautiful hilly landscape and mild climate throughout the year. Dalat was also well-known because it was home to the ARVN’s three most important military schools: The National Military Academy, the Polwar College, and the Staff and Command College.
The Polwar College was located on a low hill north of the city. On the other side of the narrow street Vo Tanh, on the other hill, there was a school for girls – the Bui Thi Xuan High School.
The first class of Polwar cadets arrived at Dalat in May 1967 after four months of basic training at Thu Duc Infantry School. Every Monday morning, two hundred young men of the Polwar cadet battalion in their dress uniforms fell into formation in front of the headquarters building to perform the flag-raising ceremony. At the same time, hundreds of young girls in purple Vietnamese dresses stood at attention to observe the same ritual.
There were eleven infantry divisions in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. The 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd (belonged to the I Corps/ 1st Military Region); the 22nd and the 23rd (II Corps/ 2nd MR); the 5th, the 18th, and the 25th (III Corps/ 3rd MR); and the 7th, the 9th, and the 21st (IV Corps/ 4th MR).
Initially, the 5th ID was founded in the far north of Vietnam. During the First Indochina War, the French army recruited its soldiers from the Nung ethnicity to form groups to patrol the Vietnamese-Chinese border. Nung people speak Guangdong Chinese with a particular accent. Many fled China after the Chinese Communists seized power in 1949. Their commanding officer was Colonel Vong A Sang, who later became the first commander of the 5th ID.
A collection of Patches, Badges, Insignia, Medals, Decorations of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces.
A Collection of the Patches, Badges, Insignia, Decorations and Medals of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (1955-1975). It took the author almost 30 years to collect, rework, touch up thousands of images. We made this collection to dedicate to the members of the ARVN who fought persistently and bravely in Vietnam War. This work is also to pass down to the next generations the legacy of suffering but courage of the soldiers of South Vietnam Armed Forces.The book is 210 pages with more than 3000 colorful images including a photo album of the ARVN typical activities.
Vietnam Is Facing the Clear and Imminent Threat of Chinese Colonization
By Michael Do
Bordering a hostile, ambitious neighbor, the trouble seems to be endless.
China is the world’s most populous country, with a population of over 1.38 billion. It covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (the world’s second-largest country by land area). Compared to China, Vietnam with a population of 94.5 million and an area of 331,210 sq. km, is a tiny David beside the giant Goliath 30 times larger in the area and 15 times more populous. Continue reading Vietnam Is Facing the Clear and Imminent Threat of Chinese Colonization→
In a Q&A session after Henry Kissinger’s conversation with Mark Updegrove, A former ARVN soldier accused him of betraying South Vietnam when he signed the Paris Peace Agreement with Hanoi Communists. The Agreement led to the fall of the Republic of Vietnam due to the US broke its promises to help Vietnam if Hanoi violated the agreement..
Some uncountable heroes fought bravely in the Vietnam War. Many of them gave their lives, and their blood to the noble cause defending the nation’s independence and the ideology of freedom and democracy. Particularly, on the last days of South Vietnam, hundreds of soldiers chose to take their own lives instead of surrendering to their enemies. Of those, the most admired are:Continue reading Heroes of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces→
(Short remark by Michael Do at the Human Right Torch Lightening Ceremony at the Texas Capitol at 1:30, Sunday April 20, 2008)
Dear fellow Chinese, Tibetans, and Oppressed people,
Everyday, as we wake up looking through the window to see the blue sky, how many of us would appreciate the freedom and democracy that throughout the history of this young nation, thousands of brave men and women have given their lives to struggle for?
I am very glad to have this opportunity to speak to the outstanding officers from the Police Departments of the State of Texas. Vietnamese culture is a broad subject that cannot be discussed within a limited time, so I will try to focus on some important points that you are concerned about while dealing with Vietnamese youth gangs. Continue reading SPEECH TO POLICE OFFICERS AT CENTRAL TEXAS GANG UNITS CONFERENCE→
Fifty-two years ago, on November 1st, 1963, Mr. Ngo Dinh Diem, the first President of the Republic of Vietnam, was violently murdered by a group of Generals in a coup d’etat. Mr. Ngo, a revolutionist, and politician who was one of the most respected statesmen of the Free World, was appointed Prime Minister in 1954. He then assumed his presidency in 1955 and led South Vietnam to peaceful prosperity in 9 years, despite the insurgency of the Vietcong (founded, led, and supported by the North Vietnamese Communist Party). Continue reading In Memoriam of the Late President Ngo Dinh Diem→
Confucianism is another common name of the Ju philosophy that has dominated Chinese social and political life for more than 25 centuries. It has occupied an important place, which is considerable to that of religion in China as well as many other Asian countries. Therefore, eighty percent of the Chinese people say that their religion is Confucianism when asked. Confucianism is indeed a system of ethical and political teachings, for its concerns are “man” and the relationship between men in a society. Lester Mondale, in his book “The Enduring Humanism of Confucianism,” says: “First for him [Confucius] was humankind, and first among his concerns for humankind was this life.” (p. 34) Continue reading Confucianism as an Ethical Philosophy→
Each of Jack London’s short stories is a valuable lesson about life and natural laws. As said by the French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau: “Man is (physically as weak as) a reed, but he is a reed that thinks.” (L’homme n’est qu’un Roseau, mais un Roseau pensant.) The history of humankind is that of persistent struggles for life. Facing the powerful and mysterious nature, men are so tiny, weak, and fragile. However, thanks to the strength of thoughts and will, men have subdued and controlled nature to exploit its energies to serve the needs that have been increased. Ideas help men’s ability to develop, and a strong will helps men’s strength multiply. Except for the universe of which the mystery we have not discovered yet, anything on earth must have its limit; so are men’s strength and ability. Continue reading Jack London’s To Build a Fire→