4-Joining the Armed Forces

12 Tháng Năm 201012:00 SA(Xem: 3498)
4-Joining the Armed Forces

After his primary studies, Luu Huyen continued his education at Petrus Ky Secondary School. In 1964 he asked for his parents' permission to join the Armed Forces. Because he was only 19, his parents had to sign a paper giving their consent.


At this time President Ngo Dinh Diem had been overthrown in a coup d'etat and the political situation was in turmoil. Uncle Hung thought this had some effect on the students. Moreover, having been born into a family involved in the anti-French resistance, Huyen believed a military career was most suitable to him.


At first Huyen wanted to enlist in the Paratroopers, so his parents took him to the headquarters of the Paratroopers Brigade to fill out the enlistment papers. In the same year, Huyen successfully passed the High School exam. After completing the Paratroopers' basic training program, Huyen requested authorization to attend the 23rd Officers training course at Thu Duc Military Academy.


Upon graduation from the Military Academy, Huyen and his close friends joined the Intelligence Branch of the Special Forces. This branch of the armed forces was even more dangerous than the Paratroopers because its men were airdropped behind enemy lines to gather intelligence.


Aspirant Luu Huyen was sent to Nha Trang to attend training. At this time, the Special Forces were commanded by General Doan Van Quang. After completion of the training course, Huyen was appointed leader of a Delta Team whose mission was to be airdropped by helicopter behind enemy lines to gather intelligence and report it to the friendly units.


During the Communist Tet offensive in 1968, the 66th Communist Regiment attacked Gia Dinh, occupied Cay Queo, Chi Lang area, and defended it to the last man. Luu Huyen led his unit in a direct attack on the Communist headquarters. Although Huyen and a number of his men were wounded, they inflicted heavy losses on the enemy, leading the way for the friendly units which then at­tacked and destroyed the enemy forces. After this battle Huyen was interviewed by Song Newspaper of Chu Tu, which wrote an article about this event.


The 1968 Tet offensive had a great influence on my spiritual life. Anh (Huyen's sister) and I enrolled in a First Aid course organized by the Boy Scouts Asso­ciation, then worked as volunteers at Saigon City Hospital. Even today I remember vividly the sights of women, children, and babies being rushed to the emergency room of the hospital after they had suffered injuries from enemy shells.
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