Viet Nam Trip - October 2019

Pat & Nancy Hurley, Steve & Judi McPhail and Mike & Linda Cryer

In three weeks we saw the whole country and the dramatic growth and change since our first visit 50 yrs ago. The people, now as then, were warm, friendly and beautiful tho we all held our tongues and counsel in reading the “interesting” perspective in the Hanoi war memorials. Traffic in the cities is paradoxically nightmarish and yet orderly in a life threatening fashion. We walked miles thru back streets and night markets, bargained enthusiastically for stuf we don't need and will rarely if ever use but made a lot of vendors happy.                                                  Photos and narrative by Pat Hurley.

Cu Chi tunnels and Saigon at nite with friends - a little different than last time here.
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DaNang at night and Hoi An for a few days. China beach and Marble mountain on the way out of town. Battlefield visit over and a few days R&R before we close out at the Hilton in Hanoi. We have covered the country except for Hanoi which we’ll see in a few days. An extraordinary trip, very evocative and confusing at times given the magnitude of change. The people remain beautiful and friendly, industrious and hopeful for the future.
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Interesting day from Nha Trang thru Tuy Hoa to Cam Ranh Bay where I spent a couple of years in my shallow youth. Topography changed a little in 50 years of typhoons and normal wind and rain but Herky Hill still discernible and runways now part of huge International Airport. Development of resorts and beach properties overwhelming - lots of Russian oligarch and Chinese overlord money in the billions as a start. Anyway it was pretty cool to be back here with no one shooting. I hope my brothers from Herky Hill can geo-locate from my photos.
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Some random shots in and around Dong Ha - ventured across Binh Lai river into Old north Vietnam - now diving west on Highway 9 to Khe San , Rockpile, Laotian border. A few beautiful schoolgirls on road to Camp Fuller. Country is still a paradox- whole cities, towns and jungles where all we remember are red dirt, bunkers and bomb craters.
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Laotian border at Lao Bo, Khe San visit where I left an airplane in 71, some school girls on way home at camp fuller and a few of us at the Rockpile and the Razorback where Steve had a couple of memorable missions in 70 and an old French Bunker on top of Can Thien mountain where the Marines had a 71 dY engGement in 68 I think.
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Incredible day inside Hue City , the Citadel and the forbidden city. Visited MACV HQ where Steve McPhail lived for a few month . Revisited with our USMC Guide every step of the Tet 1968 invasion and ensuing battles and madness. Made my stomach churn for the heroes that were here.

Back in Hue after a few days in I Corp. Mike and Linda dancing in Hotel bar and the group of us on the frontier on the border of Laos in the A Shau Valley at the airfield where Bernie Fisher got the MoH for his heroics. The monsoons have held off so far but tomorrow could be wet.

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Some Hanoi shots of Hao Lo prison, Hanoi Hilton, various monuments to the war, McCain plaque where he was shot down and captured as well as a few nite shots of Lantern festival and house where Thuy Johnston grew up in the historic and beautiful village of Hoi An near DaNang.
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