Viet Nam is a Buddhist country. Its breathtaking mountain views and lush green foliage are a soothing balm as we ride between cities, villages and hamlets. We meet gentle Vietnamese people—teachers, farmers, monks, village elders, college students, shopkeepers, street children and many more. We attend ceremonies conducted in our honor at Buddhist temples and have special audience with their head monks. We visit museums and marketplaces, private homes and rehabilitation centers and, participate in humanitarian projects.
We have observed and experienced how healing it is for veterans of the Viet Nam war to meet and council with former enemies. We are especially committed to encouraging and arranging opportunities for our travelers to meet with former ARVN, Viet Cong, and NVA soldiers wherever we go and to respectfully and personally share our common history.
We make every effort to support our returning veterans in visiting places that are important to them whether it is a mountain base, a rice paddy “grave”, an indigenous village, the tunnels, an old battle site. Together we create rituals that enable healing and closure. We honor each other and those who have died. We open to forgiveness and reconciliation and peace.
Veterans who take our Journey to Viet Nam are transformed … and so are the rest of us!
- Photos of former enemies embracing, by Soldier’s Heart, licensed under CC BY 4.0