Vietnam Veteran, Bud Brown, recently returned from an emotional trip to Vietnam after an absence of almost 40 years.
Bud Brown in Vietnam in 1971
Bud Brown in Vietnam in 2010
I left Vietnam in 1971 and promised myself that one day I'd return," Brown said."I just didn't think it would take this long." Brown, who was a U.S. Naval Advisor and speaks Vietnamese says he was amazed at how things had changed, mostly, the abundance of scooters in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. "When I left, peole mostly got around on biicycles and cyclos (which are two wheeled bicycles the carry passengers on a little seat between the two front wheels.) Now it's almost all cars and scooters. What was the same? "The people are still very friendly,"Brown said. "Everywhere I went, college students would ask if they could practice their English with me." During his ten day stay in Ho Ch Minh City (called Saigon by the locals), Brown visited several University classrooms, bought souveniers at the world famous Ben Thanh Market, lit incense and at several Chinese temples, visited the War Remnants Memorial and took the tour at the Cu Chi Tunnels, where the Viet Cong hid and lived during the massive American bombings "The tours were very emotional for me", Brown said, especially the War Remnants Museum, that had lots of photos of the atrocities that happened at that time." "I was surprised that my Vietnamese came back so easily after all these years," Brown said. Since it was so helpful to me I decided to create a website where Americans and others could learn Vietnamese. It's called Vietnamese101.info. Knowing Vietnamese opened up a lot of doors for me that, I'm sure, would have been closed if I had not been able to speak the language."Brown said."I really want to go back again, but this time I won't wait so long." www.Vietnamese101.Info