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Peace In The Village
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( Copyright Mel Steinhauer all rights reserved ) This small village was not very far from Saigon in 1969 during a long and terrible war. Squads of 10 men from our unit walked day and night patrols through this village and others, as well as the surrounding rivers and rice paddies. Small bands of Viet Cong would terrorize the villagers by taking their food, money or children, usually under the cover of darkness. We worked closely with local South Vietnamese forces to prevent or reduce those threats. The men at this small coffee house and cafe were mostly off-duty soldiers enjoying some quiet time. The young boys knew they too were in danger and would soon be soldiers someday. They also knew that they could be taken away by the Viet Cong to fight for the other side. Although these ordinary people wanted and needed our help, they also just wanted to be free to live their normal lives without the fears and dangers of war. Their needs were simple, they just wanted ... Peace In The Village.
February 8th, 2011
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