US veterans want to bring VN lessons to world

US war veterans showed their astonishment at the miraculous revival of the war-torn country.
Many years after war, when returning to Vietnam , US war veterans showed their astonishment at the miraculous revival of the war-torn country.

Vietnam gives them big lessons on the healing, tolerance and will and they want to join the country to bring the lessons to the world, said Edward Bryan Tick, President of the Soldier’s Heart Initiative, at a meeting with President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Vu Xuan Hong in Hanoi on Jan. 31.

The meeting between Hong and a delegation of the Soldier’s Heart Initiative (SHI) was no longer a normal diplomatic meeting but a get-together of time-honoured friends in a new year day with both warm smiles and emotional tears.

Edward Bryan Tick could not hide his emotion when recalling the past, which he said, has burdened his soul over the past dozens of years.

He said he used to think that he will never return to the land with full of pains and seek ways to bury his war obsessions by therapies. However, he realised that the spectre of the past will never spare him if he does not come to the place where it is originated.

And then he decided to return to Vietnam to end the war instead of keeping the pain in his heart.

Since 2004, his organisation has annually brought US war veterans and their relatives to visit old battlefields in Vietnam and conduct charitable activities for local AO victims as a way to ease the pain in their souls.

Veteran Peter Winnen said that he feels very appreciative and warm because of Vietnam ’s welcome. Winnen fought in Vietnam in the 1960s. When returning to the US , Winner did not feel peaceful in his mind.

Joining SHI for over one year and returning to Vietnam for more than one time, Winnen said he feels that he is step by step escaping from the “syndrome of war” which has obsessed him over the past several decades.

Winnen’s wife, Barbara Ann Winnen, related that before she came to Vietnam , she felt very nervous with an obsession on the past.

But setting foot here, all her fears seemed to be disappeared as she met open and friendly Vietnamese people who welcomed her with warm smiles and hand shakes.

She said that Vietnamese people are warm and they’ve touched her soul. In Vietnam , she feels calm and safe.

Many other Americans also have the same feelings as Tick, Winnen and Barbara. All of them now have overcome the shadow of the past. In Vietnam , they have seen a continuously developing country. They said they hope that they will make contributions to this process./.

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