Vietnam is a nation located along the eastern coast of mainland Southeast Asia. It has had a turbulent history. Emerging as a distinct civilization during the first millennium, Vietnam was conquered by China during the early Han dynasty and subjected to 1,000 years of foreign rule. In 1939 the Vietnamese restored their independence and gradually expanded southward along the coast from their historic homeland in the Yuan River (YŸan, or Red River) valley. In the 19th century Vietnam was conquered once again and absorbed, along with neighboring Cambodia and Laos, into French Indochina. Patriotic elements soon began to organize national resistance to colonial rule, however, and after World War II, Communist-led Viet Minh guerrillas battled for several years to free the country from foreign subjugation. In 1954, at the Geneva Conference, the country was divided into Communist-led North Vietnam and non-Communist South Vietnam. For the next 20 years, both North and South Vietnam were involved in the Vietnam War. That conflict came to an end when Communist forces from the north occupied Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) in April 1975. After the end of the war the Vietnamese government attempted to lead the entire country to socialism. However, economic difficulties and foreign policy problems, compounded by tensions with China over the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia, created severe hardship, and Vietnamese leaders are now attempting to guide the country through the transition to a market economy.
The Viet Minh was the shortened name for the League for the Independence of Vietnam, the chief political-military organization that battled the French for independence (1946-54). It was founded in 1941 in China by the Communist-nationalist Ho Chi Minh. A coalition of nationalist groups under Communist control, it was the only significant organized resistance in Vietnam during the World War II Japanese occupation. In 1946 the Viet Minh assumed the leadership of the anti-French nationalist struggle. After the French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, a Communist government was established in North Vietnam, and the Viet Minh was dissolved.
Vietnam or Viet Nam
To many people the name Vietnam conjures up images of war in some remote comer of Southeast Asia, yet few know the significance of the name, even though the war with its interminable sequels, has brought the country and its people to the forefront of the world scene for more than half a century.
The first national name of Van Lang was given to Vietnam by the Hung or Lac ethnic group, inventors of the wet rice cultivation technique and bronze drums still used today by the Muong minority. The Lac were followed by the Au or Tay Au who arrived from the Chinese province of Kwang Si. The two peoples integrated and formed the new kingdom of Au Lac. Following them came the Viet or Yue, an ethnic group who emigrated from the coastal provinces of ancient China towards the 5th century B.C. Together with the other ethnic groups of the Each Viet (100 Viet Principalities) they began their Long southward march towards the Indochinese peninsula which continued for more than 15 centuries.
The name Vietnam came about when Emperor Cia Long wanted to rename the country Nam Viet. Seeking the Chinese emperor's approval of the new national name, Cia Long sent his Ambassador, Le Quan Dinh, to China in 1802. Le Quang Dinh addressed the Emperor as follows: The new King of the Nguyen has succeeded in realizing under his rule, what the former reigns of the Tran and Le could not - the reunification of the old land of An Nam and the new land of Viet Thuong. Consequently, we would like to ask your permission to change the ancient name of An Nam to Nam Viet.
After consulting his court, the Chinese Emperor decided that the name Nam Viet would bring to mind Trieu Da's ancient kingdom of Nam Viet Dong which had included the two Chinese provinces of Guang Dong and Kwang Si, and therefore the proposed name of Nam Viet could lead to misunderstandings or even conceal territorial ambitions. The problem was solved by simply reversing the order of the two words to Viet Nam.
Viet Nam means the Viets of the South (Nam) or the south populated by the Viet the main ethnic group in Vietnam.
My first reunion
by David T. (RED DOG) Roberts
Let me tell you something. When we decided to have our reunion, there were Delta (D 1/4) guys that I left behind as new guys and a few had four months incountry. Not one old guy from my squad, the old guys had been wounded or killed and replaced (September was the ambush) (and this was November 66) with a new guy. I did-not remember one of their names. These same guys had pulled back to the Philippines and regrouped after I left and went on liberty and stuff together before heading back to Viet Nam. They were tight and could remember each other but they also accepted me as RED DOG. I was a little scared at first cause I couldn't remember them but found out it weren't no thang. We did stuff all day and hearing names I thought I was starting to remember stuff. When it got dark and the bond-fire was lit and someone would walk over to the cooler and grab a suds, I knew by movement alone who that person was by name. I was reading his body language just like in Nam. Then I remembered that was how and when I saw most of the other platoon squad leaders when squad leaders was called up for the night ambushes and patrols and we was given our overlays and missions.
Yes, I couldn't recall their names but I was with and knew these brothers of mine...I did good the rest of the reunion. It came time for me to say good-by and I walked towards those that was still left and as I extended my hand to the first one, I couldn't stop the tears from coming. I did my hand shakes to the whole group and crawled in the truck and bawled my eyes out. I never said good-by in Vietnam and here I was attempting to say good-by now. Had I had the chance to say good-by in Vietnam, I would never had left. The night before I was to leave Viet Nam (and I didn't know I was leaving) I had to take out a roving ambush north west of Dong Ha. Every single guy in the squad was a new guy. I was scared to death, not for me but for them and if we ran into something how many of these baby boys would I bring back alive (I was 19).
It might have taken 35 years but my first reunion was well worth the wait and I recommend a reunion for everyone even if you don't think you remember one of them.
Real Name: David T. (RED DOG) Roberts Location: Bellevue, NE
Age: 54 Marital Status: Married
1963 MCRDSD Plt 388, 1964/65 K 3/5 B&D/1/3 VN, 1966 Viet-Nam DMZ D/1/4, 1967 L/3/6 Lejeune/Cuba, SN 2081858, Sgt, 1979/82 Army Guard "C" Co 134th Mec.Inf. S/Sgt CorpsGrunts 4/25/99
0311's do it the right way. Dont die for your country. Make him die for his.
"Don't walk ahead of me, I will not follow, Don't walk behind, I will not lead, Walk beside me and be my friend."