"AN OPEN LETTER"
Webmaster's note: Just when you thought nobody gives a damn, a
letter suddenly appears in your email! It has a chance to brighten your
day, even if for only a short period. We thank Mr. Kellerhals for allowing the
use of his email for you to read and maybe smile, maybe just to know that some
people really do care!
Dear Vietnam Veterans,
I was once told that out of the worst of circumstances, good things can happen. I have always
believed this statement, and after reading this letter, I believe you will too. Anytime the
subject of the Vietnam War comes up, people are always filled with thoughts and visions of a
“dirty little war” that was fought in a far away foreign jungle, and that it was the only war
that the Americans have “lost.” I am here to tell you that many of the battles fought in the
Vietnam War were glorious and victorious, and were not even fought in the jungles, air, sea or
any other battlefield.
It is common knowledge, that many wars are initiated and fought in the interest of political
battle lines and freedom, and so it was, as cloudy as it seemed, that the United States was
drawn into the Vietnam War. You might think the war was lost because Vietnam is still in the
grips of Communism, but I want you to take a look at the whole picture and see what was gained.
I have a perspective of the Vietnam War that many cannot see.
You see, I was born in DaNang, Vietnam during the tail end of the war. I was born of a
faceless and unknown Vietnamese woman, and an American soldier. By circumstance, I ended up
being one of thousands of orphans in a small Vietnamese orphanage….left without a mother or
father. It was only by the grace of God that I was discovered and adopted by a US Army Captain
that I now call “Dad”. A newborn Vietnamese girl was also adopted with me. I was adopted at a
very young age, and while I have no specific memories of the events in my life while in
Vietnam, I do have very vivid memories of how I felt. I can remember always feeling confused
and scared. I can remember the unexplainable feeling of release when I was traveling to United
States on an airplane with my new guardian angel. I can even remember not understanding a word
he said, but I knew that for the first time in my life, I felt safe. Many years have passed
since I was delivered from the demise I would have likely suffered had I not been adopted.
You see, after the Vietnam War ended countless numbers of children that were half American that
did not make it out, were executed. It is likely that I would have been one of those. It is
this fact that made me realize that had it not been for the Veterans of the Vietnam War and had
it not been for the grace of God, me and thousands of other children would have perished. The
number of children that were adopted and evacuated out of that war torn country numbers in the
thousands. Every time I see pictures or movies from the Vietnam War where American soldiers
are carrying young terrified Vietnamese children to a waiting helicopter, or away from a
bloody burning village, it tears my heart out. A scene that particularly stands out in my mind
is the photos and movie clips of the helicopter on the roof of the US embassy as Viet Cong
forces overtook Saigon. Watching the children being loaded onto that waiting helicopter
reminds me of how lucky I was and how brave the American soldiers were to put their lives on
the line to save just a few lives. That scene is one of thousands where American soldiers
risked their lives to save the lives of so many unknown Vietnamese children.
So you see, the Vietnam War has more success stories than you realize. I am living proof of
that. Don’t ever let anyone try to convince you that the Vietnam War was a waste and that
nothing good came out of it. Thanks to you, the Veterans of the Vietnam War , me and countless
other lives were saved and were given a chance to serve a merciful and gracious God. Words
cannot express the gratitude that I have in my heart for every American that witnessed the
terrible atrocities of a war that no one seemed to understand. Words cannot begin to describe
the success stories of the young lives that you delivered from certain death. The only two
words that can even begin to express how I feel towards Vietnam Veterans is “Thank you”. Thank
you for saving my life; thank you for giving me a chance to know and serve our God; Thank you
for the moments where I look into my eyes of my two sons and see a little bit of all of you in
My generation seems to have lost themselves with the “me” attitude, but I want every one of you
to know that me and thousands of others appreciate what you did for us. We are a living legacy
of the courage and sacrifice made by so many young Americans, and I will pass that legacy on to
my children so that they will always know whom to thank for a life that is full of so many
blessings. I do not take the sacrifices you made for granted, nor will my children.
The stories of rescue, hope, sacrifice and second chances are certainly not limited to the
Vietnam War, but is part of the continuing saga of all wars that Americans have fought bravely.
Whether you are one of the soldiers that helped liberate the Jews from the unimaginable
insanities of Hitler, or whether, you were one of the soldiers that helped stop Communism dead
in its’ tracks along the 38th parallel in Korea, or whether you were one of the soldiers that
delivered an entire nation from the evils of a self serving dictator in the Middle East, or
whether you are one of the soldiers that helped save thousands of Vietnamese and
American/Vietnamese children from death, you are all heroes in my eyes! To all of you War
Veterans, and to all the families that have lost a loved one to war, “thank you, and may God
bless you and your families!” Your sacrifice and courage will never be forgotten.
With a heartfelt thanks,
Used with permission
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