Maryland 14 February 1999.
I graduated the same class as Hieu, at that time we entered the army without a clear idea concerning the reason and the consequence of our nation with an uncertain future. I don't know what was Hieu's thinking when he took that decision, I only heard him say that he had followed his dad and had graduated with a high school diploma in Shanghai.
Afterwards, during my entire military career, I only met Hieu once when he was Commanding General stationing in Qui Nhon. I visited him as an army Colonel in charge of Signal Units' organization and equipment to see that he had sufficient communication means in his Division. We chatted and enquired about our respective works during half an hour only.
Later, I learned that Hieu was appointed Deputy Commander of 3rd Corps and committed suicide in this position. I was shocked when I hear this new. He killed himself or was killed by someone else remains still a mystery to me until this day. After undergoing half a century of civil war, both the North and the South had been living in a dream and today we have independence, neither parties could claim the exclusive credit for bringing that ultimate goal to the nation of Vietnam.
As for Hieu, I can say that he was a high class soldier with good academic background, courageous and honest. I hope that there will be more young men inside and outside the country who will possess the same qualities as he.
I am now 68 years old and had retired, after 23 years of military service in South Vietnam and after working 24 years as an electronic repair specialist for Hughes Network System. Now I only dream of having the opportunity to talk with those who have the responsibility of building up the economy and welfare of Vietnam in the coming years. But those dreams had not and will never materialize. I now enjoy life and watch my children and grand children grow up in freedom, well fed and able to study.
I am certain that your family and your children are currently very successful and are living in happiness in a country as free as the United States. We all hope that Vietnam will also succeed and attain abundance, freedom, peace in the 20 coming years.
I have tried to read http://members.tripod.com/TinNguyen, but couldn't find it.
I affectionately wish you, Nguyen Van Tin, the brother of Major General Hieu and your family a spring season full of joy and warmth.
Pham Van Tien