The People of Vietnam

Father and Son
Fatherandson.JPG (62231 bytes)
On a visit the Montagnard village in the foothills just to the West of Cam Ranh, the older man in this picture noticed my camera and insisted on having his picture taken.   He spoke French and Vietnamese, but not a word of English.  My meager high school French and a lot of mutual hand-waving eventually established the fact that he had served proudly with the French and continued to be proud to serve with the Americans in his quest to free his land from the Communists.  The young man, whose countenance suggests that he really didn't want his picture taken, is the older man's son.  As soon as I raised the camera to take the picture, the older man, who had been all smiles and talk, assumed a position of rigid, solemn military attention.  To this day, I remember this incident clearly, especially the thoughts that were running through my mind about the intentions of that young man and his wicked-looking hooked knife.
Revised: 24 March 1999