Simple happiness of ‘Truong Son heroines’ hinh anh 1Vu Thi Kim Dung reminisces about the time she performed duties on Truong Son Trail (Photo: VietnamPlus)
Hanoi (VNA) – After the South Liberation and National Reunification Day on April 30, 1975, the then female drivers’ platoon was dissolved. Spending their youth in the forest with malaria attacks and rains of bombs, many of the female drivers missed chances of marriage.

Restoring wartime love

Simple happiness of ‘Truong Son heroines’ hinh anh 2A photo of Vu Thi Kim Dung (R) and Nguyen Thi Nguyet Anh in their 20s. (File photo)
To Nguyen Thi Nguyet Anh, the time of national reunification was also when she could fully enjoy her personal happiness.

The fierce battlefields full of hardships were also the cradle of many beautiful loves, and the one between Anh and Tran Cong Thang was among those stories.

The couple met each other by chance at a musical event held by Thang’s sapper unit. In 1968, Thang’s unit was ordered to move to the southern region and operate in Laos. It is said that “out of sight, out of mind”, but geographical distance was unable to erode their love.

Thang presented Anh with a notebook in which he wrote lyrics, poems, and messages representing his love and promises for her.

“I overcame everything partially thanks to this notebook. Each sentence, each word he had written before bidding farewell was like a driving force for me to fulfill duties,” Anh recounted.

Simple happiness of ‘Truong Son heroines’ hinh anh 3The young Nguyen Thi Nguyet Anh and Tran Cong Thang (File photo)
When peace was restored across the country, the team of female drivers took part in a military parade at Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi. Having known that there was a team of Truong Son female drivers at the square, Thang rushed to see. They found out each other, just like a dream.

In 1977, Thang changed his job and worked at the Ministry of National Defence’s General Department of Logistics while Anh served as a driver at the Ministry of Finance. They have lived happily since then. Their home in Long Bien district of Hanoi is now full of laughter of their grandchildren.

Incomplete happiness

Returning from battlefields, some people have lived a fully happy life while others haven’t.

After the war ended, many men came to propose marriage to Vu Thi Kim Dung, residing in Long Bien district, but she refused and planned to live as a single with her mother. Dung felt unconfident since she used to serve as a driver who experienced the most dangerous roads full of toxic chemicals prayed by the enemy on Truong Son Trail.

She said having siphoned petrol out from vehicles by mouth and swallowed toxic lead, many of comrades in her company have died of cancer. She herself is a war invalid with 22 percent of work capacity lost and has been suffering from a lung disease.

Simple happiness of ‘Truong Son heroines’ hinh anh 4The women who once drove vehicles on the Truong Son Trail take part in a meeting with the young (Photo: VietnamPlus)
Later, a neighbour introduced Dung to Chu Minh Tuan, who used to be a military soldier and a war correspondent. Tuan’s first wife died in an accident. When Tuan got to know her, he had already had three children.

He admired Dung for her bravery in the battlefield and also sympathised with her since both of them served in the army. However, Tuan also hesitated because she had rejected many proposals.

He decided to write a letter and asked another person to give it to Dung. In the letter, he talked about his situation, shared his thought about her, and expressed his wish to make acquaintance with her.

At that time, Dung also hesitated about his offer. The destiny or Tuan’s sincere words may be, they decided to marry in 1990.

Dung said she finally had a chance to be a wife but wasn’t able to be a mother - the inconsolable grief throughout her life, but luckily, all her stepchildren love and respect her.

Simple happiness of ‘Truong Son heroines’ hinh anh 5A photo of Vu Thi Kim Dung and Chu Minh Tuan. (Photo courtesy of Vu Thi Kim Dung)
Dung noted she is satisfied with her current life, adding that many other female drivers are more miserable than her. Some are struggling with numerous difficulties, and some have lived a single life.

Looking at the photos of female drivers exhibited at the Hoa Lo Prison relic site in Hanoi, Dung said she is happy that people nowadays respect her comrades’ and her devotion.

“I’m very happy when seeing the image of my younger self. I lived wholeheartedly for my ideals. Each time is different, the country is peaceful now, I only hope that young people will exert themselves to dedicate to society,” she said./.