Salem, OR, US
As a son of a Vietnam veteran I knew that the war had an affect on me but did not know how much till I made my own trip to Vietnam. I never thought before going that somewhere in me lied anger and bitterness over the war. As a born again Christian working for a nonprofit in CA I had the opportunity to travel to Vietnam twice. My first trip, although still two weeks till the end, ended for me while I was standing in front of of a picture of a downed American piolt at a musuem. As I stood there and wondered the depth of emotions that people felt over this piolt being shot down several Vietmanese started to mock and laugh at me. It took every bit of self control not to lash back but I never got over that incident. Two years later when another opportunity came to go to Vietnam I swore I would not go. But several months later I found myself standing in that same place again but this time instead of getting angry and bitter I pushed through and realized that for true peace to come there needed to be a reconciliation between our country and theirs.