70 years of volunteer youth movement: keeping the spark of youth hinh anh 1Over the past seven decades, more than 650,000 male and female volunteer youths have directly fought, worked, and overcome challenges to fulfill the task of national defence and construction. (Photo: VNA) 

Hanoi (VNA) - When Vietnam was at war, volunteer youths were a brave army. Now, they are serving as a source of encouragement for the current youths to volunteer to go to disadvantaged areas to build and defend the nation. 

The past seven decades since the establishment of the Volunteer Youth Team in accordance under President Ho Chi Minh’s Directive have proved that the force has unceasingly grown, reflecting the strength and the will of Vietnamese young generations, whether it was resistance wars or national construction process.

Generations of Vietnamese volunteer youths have become a key force in the renovation process, who went to remote areas to build and defend the nation.

70 years of national defence and construction

70 years ago on July 15, 1950, President Ho Chi Minh assigned the National Salvation Youth Union to organise a long-term youth team to serve the campaign under the name of Volunteer Youth Team. Such a historic decision gave birth to the first centrally-run volunteer youth team in Yen Lang commune, Dai Tu district, Thai Nguyen province, including three detachments with 225 officers and members.

During the anti-French resistance war, nearly 50,000 officers and volunteer youth members stood side by side with armed forces, transportation, conscripted workers and ethnic minority people of the north and northwestern regions to open tens of kilometres of roads transporting thousands of tonnes of military equipment, defuse more than 1,000 bombs and mines, save and carry hundreds of injured soldiers. Many members of the force laid down their lives on the battlefields. When the campaign became intense, over 8,000 volunteer youths turned to supplement the army, thus making important contributions to the Dien Bien Phu historic victory.

When the US imperialists invaded the country, the whole nation rose up in the resistance war to save the country in the north and on the front of the Truong Son trails. Over 140,000 officers and members of the force were present on all roads and accomplished tasks, including repairing roads and bridges, defusing bombs and mines, contributing to defeating the destruction war waged by the US imperialists, liberating the south and reunifying the country.

On the southern battlefield, volunteer youths together with soldiers carried weapons, munitions, and food, and defused bombs and mines.

Following the liberation of the south and the national reunification, volunteer youths switched to post-war economic recovery. More than 50,000 male and female young volunteers joined the fight to safeguard the national borderline, including about 13,000 protecting the southwestern border and undertaking an international mission in Cambodia, while over 36,000 others served the war to protect the northern border.

As the gunfire silenced, more than 200,000 youths volunteered to go to disadvantaged areas like border and islands to rehabilitate the country. Upholding the spirit of volunteer youths, they joined hands to clean up the environment, develop transportation, work with authorities at all levels to stabilise the population associated with vocational training and job creation for young people, doing public tasks to solve urgent and difficult problems.

70 years of volunteer youth movement: keeping the spark of youth hinh anh 2Volunteer youth force always takes the vanguard, reflecting the power and strong will of Vietnamese young generations, whether during the national salvation war or the construction process (Photo: VNA)

At present, 18 cities and provinces have 43 volunteer youth units while thousands of officers and members undertake difficult political tasks in localities and build effective socio-economic development models.

Outstanding works of volunteer youths include rural bridges in the northern mountainous and central regions, the Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta, 32 youth villages along border areas, among others.

Over the past seven decades, more than 6,000 volunteer youths laid down their lives, more than 40,000 were injured, and over 14,000 infected with Agent Orange.

Continuing tradition of blue shirts

With a clear vision, Uncle Ho and the Party Central Committee saw huge potential and power of volunteer youths. He pinned his trust on generations of heroic youths during the fight for national independence and reunification.

70 years of volunteer youth movement: keeping the spark of youth hinh anh 3Volunteer youths help families hit by flooding in Lao Cai (Photo: VNA)

First Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Le Quoc Phong expressed his belief that the new pathway of Vietnamese volunteer youths will see new milestones and successes./.