Well, here it is, December again, Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas coming up fast. This is the time I send out my end of year appeal for support for the charity that brings badly needed help to the crippled old South Vietnamese veterans still eking out their lives in Viet Nam. (www.thevhf.org )
We are now supporting directly 100 vets and their families, and also providing partial support to 30 others who have come to us with desperate requests for some help. Our work has become more difficult because of the police taking an ever worse view of us. In February on my last visit, I was "busted" in Hue for the crime of giving money to people the top cop of that region doesn't like, and told to leave and never come back. So my days of visiting the old vets to give them some real recognition from a former comrade and raise their spirits have come to an end. This is a bitter thing for me, it was such an important thing to them to have someone come from the US to see them, and I was so deeply honored to be able to give that service.
But our work goes on, the men get older and sicker and need more medicines, and now every month or so another one passes on. But we have a long list of those waiting for help, so we go on running events to raise some funds, and of course depending heavily on donations from others who understand the plight of these men and wish to help. Please consider if you can contribute anything this year. Our overhead remains under 5%, so you know the money you give will end up right in the hands of those who need it. You can send checks or use PayPal, and all contributions are tax deductible. (If there are others you know who might have any interest in this cause, please feel free to pass this on.)
Thanks again, and best wishes for a very Merry Christmas.
Chairman, Vietnam Healing Foundation
Here I am on my last trip, with some of the new candidates for help from us. Eight men with three operating legs between them. (Faces are blocked out for their safety, since we know too well that all our activities are watched.)