It’s been 43 years since these soldiers fought against each other in the jungles of Vietnam – but now, they’re working together to build friendships instead.
A team of Australian and Vietnamese veterans from the Vietnam War are facilitating a club in Vung Tau harbor where other veterans such as themselves can meet for a beer “where they once exchanged bullets”.
According to an exclusive interview with ABC News, the vets say that they have always experienced a mutual respect for each others’ soldiers, values, and tactics, despite the fact that they were pitted against each other. After Peter Safe joined the army as a 17-year-old, he says he was stationed in a Viet Cong village where he developed an affinity for the nation’s culture.
“I never had any problems there … that was when I really fell in love with the country and the people,” Safe told ABC. “The soldiers we captured, [if] wounded, would… be treated by our doctors… and we always buried their dead respectably.”
Now, in a building that used to serve as an Australian war base, the ex-soldiers have found community in their shared experience during the war – and they hope that they will be able to expand that community over the course of the next year.
“I’m not a relaxed person even now … probably the only time I relax is when I’m back in Vietnam at Tommy’s bar having a few beers with the boys,” said Safe. “I think it’s just because we’re all army — we understand each other.”
Be Sure To Read The Full ABC News Interview For More Amazing Details – And Remember To Share The Story With Your Friends (Photos supplied by Peter Safe and Vo Xuan Thu via ABC.net)