Since 1968, when I spent some time
in Vietnam, I've had a soft spot in my heart for Vietnamese kids.
Of course, in 1968 we soldiers were all kids. Over the years,
I've become the unofficial historian for the artillery battalion
that I served with. Back then we did what we could to help the
kids and connected with the orphanages that were near our
headquarters area. In 2002, after doing some research at the
National Archives in Washington D.C., I was able to find the name
and address of one of the orphanages in Hue that we had supported
and began a quest to find it. Unfortunately that orphanage had
closed many years ago.
In 2006, I still had not found a
connection to an orphanage in Vietnam that felt right, and was
fortunate to have been found by Dennis Coyne and Friends of VSO.
The trip to the orphanage at Kontum in February 2007 sealed my
fate. The kids, the caregivers and sisters are absolutely the
most wonderful people I have ever met. Just seeing their
happiness brought tears of joy and I was hooked for life.