Vietnam 2012

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Nguyen Tan Hoa, 55, sits with his mother, 85-year-old Nguyen Thi Tien, in his boyhood home in the village of Tam Hoa, about 25 miles southwest of Da Nang, Vietnam. Nguyen was around 10-years-old when a squad of Marines moved into his village under the Combined Action Program, a pacification effort designed to train local militia and keep Viet Cong guerrillas from taking over. "As soon as I saw them, I wanted to be a Marine," he says. He spent much of his free time hanging out at the Marines' compound, and they adopted him into the unit. He says the Marines would often come to his mother's shop to buy snacks and drinks. When the Americans left in 1975, "I really felt like I was the last G.I. in Vietnam," he says. May 12, 2012.
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