Friday, March 1, 2019

Vietnam Veteran "Coming back is tough, but a gift toward healing."

Return to Vietnam: Down the Mekong River

By Jeff Alexander
Feb 28, 2019
"Peace has come to this country," he said, "and I know peace has come to a lot of vets. And I'm looking at the fellas here, I see peace sinking in."

MEKING DELTA, Vietnam (WBAY) - Thursday, a local Vietnam veteran paid an emotional tribute to his brother and the Old Glory Honor Flight tour spent its final day in southern Vietnam.

In our Return to Vietnam coverage, Jeff Alexander takes us to the Mekong Delta, where the vets received a cultural experience and emotions ran high.
Vietnam veterans tour canals on the Mekong Delta aboard small, low boats called sampan boats (WBAY photo)

The fertile soil in the Mekong Delta makes it the heartland of agriculture in Vietnam, where rice, fruits and seafood are exported around the world.

It's an area Keith Johnson's older brother served in and fell in love with.

"He appreciated the people and their hard work, and he could see beyond the war," said Keith, who's from Appleton.

To honor his late brother Duane's wish of returning to Vietnam, Keith brought his ashes to spread.

"He was a... the real deal... over here," Keith said, getting emotional.

"This gentleman's brother was with the 9th Infantry Division," Tom Sharp of Green Bay said.

A Navy gunner, Tom transported troops up and down the rivers throughout the delta.

Coming back is tough, he says, but a gift toward healing.

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