To Australia and her Vietnam Veterans with love and gratitude...

The Unforgettable Aussie

There are memories in my childhood
Sorrowful, indelible...
My fellow villagers lied dead on the road
When the fresh sun ray shined on the hamlet
One had his throat cut open
The Viet Cong left him there in the darkness of last night
He was accused of being an American sympathizer,
A written note pinned on his cold, bloody body
Signed by the "Communist Committee"
Chills were running down on the passerby's spine
One day my home was bombed
When the VC flew their flag from the roof
Nothing was left
We became refugees, fleeing to Qui Nhon
Life was hard...

The war was rumbling eerily
Life pretended to be oblivious to its treacherous happenings
Many times my younger sister got sick
She was 2 years old
I carried her to Holy Family Hospital
I was only in sixth grade
Mom wasn't home, Dad was not around
The white-skinned Doctor was so gentle
His warmhearted touch was felt
In the heart of a child
The nurses called him Bác Sĩ Úc, an Aussie Doctor
His smile was broad
His loving gaze seemed to extend to a space faraway
His fellow Aussies were fighting the Viet Cong
Some place where the sound of the gunfire echoed...

April 1975 came and departed
But the sorrows stay
Thirty years later
I am writing this poem from the land of the free,
Embracing the sacrifice of an Aussie...

Linh Duy Vo

The boy in the poem
April 15, 2005 ©

Linh!  I find it very difficult to read your website without tears starting to flow.  It would be a far different country if more Americans had your perspective. You humble us all.  Do not get depressed, you touch so many people.  As I have found out, Aussie Vietnam Veterans and American Vietnam Veterans share not only the common experience of combat in Vietnam, they were treated just like American Vietnam Veterans upon return to Australia. We have a lot of Vietnam Vets here who still have deep problems.

They believe in what they were doing, as we do.

Thanks again my Dear Friend.

Mike Williams
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret'd)
Vietnam 1967-1971
Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (


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