The real victims of the Vietnam war

What dreams did the parents have for these kids?

Over the years I have tried to assess the impact Viet Nam has had on my life. Viet Nam taught me many things. It also created many questions. I look back to that period forty-some years ago, still searching for answers to some of those questions. Doubtless, some of those questions will go unanswered.

When I look at some of my pictures, I shake my head in disbelief. What if the situation had been reversed? The pictures below have an entirely different meaning now than it did forty-plus years ago.

How frustrated would I have been -- had my children had to grow up in this environment? I (like you?) have spent the last half of my adult life trying to provide my children with opportunities I never had.

What I see...

The youngest boys (blue and tan shirts) are too young. We are simply curiosities. The slightly older boys (white shirts to girl's left and right) are afraid. Look at the brow on the boy at far right. The boy behind the girl looks almost in tears. Fear will do that to you.

Others, black shirts left and center, don't have the courage to come closer. Perhaps they have never seen a camera before? Is this the device that killed their father? ...their uncle??

It is the riveting gaze of the young girl that possibly tells the biggest story. She has no fear in her face. She reaches out to comfort one of the boys. Perhaps she is searching for answers. What are we doing here? Why don't we leave?? I would like to find her... forty-five years later... and ask what she was thinking that day in the market.


We were a curiosity to them... giants in a land of little people. We lived up on the hill... and damn few of them liked us. We always had guns. Chances were that we were directly or indirectly associated with the death of one of their relatives.

Look at the faces of the children, for they have not yet learned how to hide their emotions.

Look at these children. No shoes... living in dirt and disease. I compare their lives to the lives of my children.

It makes me want to cry.


Market in Thuong Duc