We connect sons and daughters who lost fathers
on opposite sides of the Vietnam War.
 

The 2 Sides Project was founded in March 2015 by Margot Carlson Delogne. Her father, Air Force
Captain John W. Carlson, was killed in action near Bien Hoa in 1966. 

First, six of us went to Vietnam to meet with 20+ Vietnamese whose fathers died fighting on
the other side, then seven on the American side met with 40 more on the Vietnamese side.
Now we're a nonprofit with the goal to connect even more people similarly affected by the
Vietnam/American War, and eventually by more recent wars.

We know that facing the other side and our own fears leads to more understanding, and lasting healing.
We discovered that when we came together in Vietnam.

Here are our stories.

Portraits of The 2 Sides

 
Dinh The Sau and Susan Mitchell Mattera. Sau’s father was killed in the Quang Nam province during the Tet Offensive, 1968. Susan’s father was killed two years later in 1970 in the south western part of Vietnam, near Cao Lanh City. Sau has two brothers, Susan two sisters.

Dinh The Sau and Susan Mitchell Mattera. Sau’s father was killed in the Quang Nam province during the Tet Offensive, 1968. Susan’s father was killed two years later in 1970 in the south western part of Vietnam, near Cao Lanh City. Sau has two brothers, Susan two sisters.







Bonnie Dean and Nguyen Viet Hung, whose  fathers died fighting on opposite sides of the Vietnam/American War. Bonnie has few memories of her father, who was killed in 1964 when she was just five years old, very early in the conflict and just before the war had officially started. Hung has many memories of his father, who was killed when Hung was a teenager after the war officially ended, during a fight with the Khmer Rouge of neighboring Cambodia.

Bonnie Dean and Nguyen Viet Hung, whose
fathers died fighting on opposite sides of the Vietnam/American War. Bonnie has few memories of her father, who was killed in 1964 when she was just five years old, very early in the conflict and just before the war had officially started. Hung has many memories of his father, who was killed when Hung was a teenager after the war officially ended, during a fight with the Khmer Rouge of neighboring Cambodia.

Nguyen Thi Luong and Margot Carlson Delogne. Luong’s mother was a kindergarten teacher who  was in school one day when a bomb raid began.  She rushed the children to the bomb shelter, and when she went to bring the last child to safety, a bomb hit. She protected the child with her body  and lost her life. Margot’s father, a pilot, was shot down on December 7, 1966. He has remained missing for more than 50 years. What struck  Margot most about Luong is how caring she was toward the American side. “She grasped our hands, embraced us warmly, held us close to her side.  She was lovely, and loving.”

Nguyen Thi Luong and Margot Carlson Delogne. Luong’s mother was a kindergarten teacher who
was in school one day when a bomb raid began.
She rushed the children to the bomb shelter, and when she went to bring the last child to safety, a bomb hit. She protected the child with her body
and lost her life. Margot’s father, a pilot, was shot down on December 7, 1966. He has remained missing for more than 50 years. What struck
Margot most about Luong is how caring she was toward the American side. “She grasped our hands, embraced us warmly, held us close to her side.
She was lovely, and loving.”

Nora Kubach, the editor and writer of  The 2 Sides Project documentary film, with American/Vietnam War veteran Nguyen Van Thiep. Thiep lost his right arm fighting for the Vietnamese side on the same day the Paris Peace Accord was signed in January 1973.

Nora Kubach, the editor and writer of The 2 Sides Projectdocumentary film, with American/Vietnam War veteran Nguyen Van Thiep. Thiep lost his right arm fighting for the Vietnamese side on the same day the Paris Peace Accord was signed in January 1973.









Nguyen Le Anh Khanh with Margaret Von Lienen. Ms. Khanh's father is listed as MIA.She received a letter about what happened to him from her father's unit, but the letter was soaked in a flood that made the writing indecipherable. Margaret's father, Robert Saavedra, was a Navy pilot and is also MIA. He was shot down over the province of Ha Tinh on  April 28, 1968.

Nguyen Le Anh Khanh with Margaret Von Lienen. Ms. Khanh's father is listed as MIA.She received a letter about what happened to him from her father's unit, but the letter was soaked in a flood that made the writing indecipherable. Margaret's father, Robert Saavedra, was a Navy pilot and is also MIA. He was shot down over the province of Ha Tinh on
April 28, 1968.

Ron Reyes and Phu Nguyen, who works at Project RENEW in the Quang Tri province. During a presentation about Project RENEW to the 2 Sides Project, Mr. Nguyen told Ron that his father was a guerrilla fighter and fought in Cam Lo, in the same place where Ron’s father fought for the other side.

Ron Reyes and Phu Nguyen, who works at Project RENEW in the Quang Tri province. During a presentation about Project RENEW to the 2 Sides Project, Mr. Nguyen told Ron that his father was a guerrilla fighter and fought in Cam Lo, in the same place where Ron’s father fought for the other side.

Mike Burkett with Ho Tuan Nghia after the 2 Sides Project meeting in Quang Tri. Both men share the experience of losing their father in war. They also share a love of photography.

Mike Burkett with Ho Tuan Nghia after the 2 Sides Project meeting in Quang Tri. Both men share the experience of losing their father in war. They also share a love of photography.




Patty Young Loew and Nguyen Liem. Patty's father, HM1 Jack Young (Navy), was killed in Da Nang on March 11, 1969. Mr. Liem's father fought on the North Vietnamese side and was killed in the early 1970s. Patty and Mr. Liem met in Hanoi. When Mr. Liem said his father distributed medical supplies, Patty nodded and smiled. Her father had been a medic during the war.

Patty Young Loew and Nguyen Liem. Patty's father, HM1 Jack Young (Navy), was killed in Da Nang on March 11, 1969. Mr. Liem's father fought on the North Vietnamese side and was killed in the early 1970s. Patty and Mr. Liem met in Hanoi. When
Mr. Liem said his father distributed medical supplies, Patty nodded and smiled. Her father had been a medic during the war.

Susan Mitchell-Mattera with Le Thi Thu. Ms. Thu’s father was a “war invalid” whose hands and eyes were badly injured in the war. He died in 2006 and was recognized as a war martyr.

Susan Mitchell-Mattera with Le Thi Thu. Ms. Thu’s father was a “war invalid” whose hands and eyes were badly injured in the war. He died in 2006 and was recognized as a war martyr.






Mike Burkett with Ho Van Hien. Mike, whose father Curtis Earl Burkett, was killed on February 19, 1971 in Quang Ngai Province, has many family photos of his parents, but only one with him in it. Mr. Hien's father was killed in 1968 when Mr. Hien was four months old. He has no memories, and no pictures, of his father. We asked if anyone told him anything about his dad, he recalled what his mother said: his father fought bravely "until his last bullet."

Mike Burkett with Ho Van Hien. Mike, whose father Curtis Earl Burkett, was killed on February 19, 1971 in Quang Ngai Province, has many family photos of his parents, but only one with him in it. Mr. Hien's father was killed in 1968 when Mr. Hien was four months old. He has no memories, and no pictures, of his father. We asked if anyone told him anything about his dad, he recalled what his mother said: his father fought bravely "until his last bullet."

Kim Carlson Benner and Duong Minh Can, whose fathers died fighting on opposite sides of the Vietnam/American War. Kim was four years old when her father was shot down near Bien Hoa in December 1966. Can was nine years old when his father was killed. Can was also injured during the war. He said that an American medic healed him, “so I had mixed feelings about the Americans from then on.” Kim too had mixed feelings about the Vietnamese. Once she met the other side in person, she came to know that the pain of losing a father was shared. Can and Kim met during the most recent 2 Sides Project trip to Vietnam.

Kim Carlson Benner and Duong Minh Can, whose fathers died fighting on opposite sides of the Vietnam/American War. Kim was four years old when her father was shot down near Bien Hoa in December 1966. Can was nine years old when his father was killed. Can was also injured during the war. He said that an American medic healed him, “so I had mixed feelings about the Americans from then on.” Kim too had mixed feelings about the Vietnamese. Once she met the other side in person, she came to know that the pain of losing a father was shared. Can and Kim met during the most recent 2 Sides Project trip to Vietnam.

Dung Vu and Barbara Brumet, whose fathers died fighting on opposite sides of the Vietnam/American War. Dung Vu’s father died on April 8, 1972, before she was born. Barbara’s father died on April 9, 1964, when Barbara was six years old. Barbara was the first to sign up for the 2018 trip. Dung Vu wasn’t sure she wanted to come to the 2 Sides Project meeting, but in the end she was happy she did. “We are all proud of our fathers, but we are not proud of war. I would do anything to prevent war.”

Dung Vu and Barbara Brumet, whose fathers died fighting on opposite sides of the Vietnam/American War. Dung Vu’s father died on April 8, 1972, before she was born. Barbara’s father died on April 9, 1964, when Barbara was six years old. Barbara was the first to sign up for the 2018 trip. Dung Vu wasn’t sure she wanted to come to the 2 Sides Project meeting, but in the end she was happy she did. “We are all proud of our fathers, but we are not proud of war. I would do anything to prevent war.”

Nguyen Hoang Giang and Jill Hubbs, whose  fathers died fighting on opposite sides of the Vietnam/American War. Giang’s father, an educator, was killed in 1967 when Giang was two years old. Giang’s uncle and grandfather also died during the war. Today Giang is an educator who believes “we should do all in our ability to maintain peace for both sides.” Jill is an educator too. Her father’s plane crashed into the Gulf of Tonkin in March 1968. To this day he remains missing in action. “In Vietnam  I have met people who fought and who lost on the opposite side of the war, and they are all gracious and friendly toward me. It’s been an amazing experience to connect with them.”

Nguyen Hoang Giang and Jill Hubbs, whose
fathers died fighting on opposite sides of the Vietnam/American War. Giang’s father, an educator, was killed in 1967 when Giang was two years old. Giang’s uncle and grandfather also died during the war. Today Giang is an educator who believes “we should do all in our ability to maintain peace for both sides.” Jill is an educator too. Her father’s plane crashed into the Gulf of Tonkin in March 1968. To this day he remains missing in action. “In Vietnam
I have met people who fought and who lost on the opposite side of the war, and they are all gracious and friendly toward me. It’s been an amazing experience to connect with them.”

During the Vietnam War, Tran Trong Duc and Nguyên Thi Dao were teachers at a boarding school for “children of war martyrs.” They taught and cared for hundreds of Vietnamese orphans, some as young as six years old. Over the years they became so close to the children that they remained in touch with many students well after the war ended. Today we met Duc and Dao, along with seven of the students from the school, in the 2 Sides Project meeting in Saigon. They have an unbreakable bond that has seen them through loss, and love. Duc and Dao met at the school and later married, as did 90 couples who were students.

During the Vietnam War, Tran Trong Duc and Nguyên Thi Dao were teachers at a boarding school for “children of war martyrs.” They taught and cared for hundreds of Vietnamese orphans, some as young as six years old. Over the years they became so close to the children that they remained in touch with many students well after the war ended. Today we met Duc and Dao, along with seven of the students from the school, in the 2 Sides Project meeting in Saigon. They have an unbreakable bond that has seen them through loss, and love. Duc and Dao met at the school and later married, as did 90 couples who were students.

Nguyen Duy Dung and Patty Young Loew met in Quang Tri province, Vietnam. They had a lot in common. Both were just two years old when their fathers died. And both fathers were killed in the exact same way -- by a shot to the head.

Nguyen Duy Dung and Patty Young Loew met in Quang Tri province, Vietnam. They had a lot in common. Both were just two years old when their fathers died. And both fathers were killed in the exact same way -- by a shot to the head.



Margot Carlson Delogne, left, and Patty Young Loew, right, with Thi Le Phi. All three daughters said their mothers never remarried because they had found their one love in their fathers. They met in Da Nang, near the site where Patty's father was killed on March 11, 1969.

Margot Carlson Delogne, left, and Patty Young Loew, right, with Thi Le Phi. All three daughters said their mothers never remarried because they had found their one love in their fathers. They met in Da Nang, near the site where Patty's father was killed on March 11, 1969.

Susan Mitchell-Mattera and Duong Thi Loan. Susan's father was killed near Cao Lanh City in 1970. Ms. Loan's father was killed in Quang Tri in 1968. Ms. Loan knew only the sound of her father's voice because he fought far from home. "Once, he got a secret mission close to home and came to visit us. We met at night because we were scared. He hugged me, but in the dark I couldn’t see his face.”

Susan Mitchell-Mattera and Duong Thi Loan. Susan's father was killed near Cao Lanh City in 1970. Ms. Loan's father was killed in Quang Tri in 1968. Ms. Loan knew only the sound of her father's voice because he fought far from home. "Once, he got a secret mission close to home and came to visit us. We met at night because we were scared. He hugged me, but in the dark I couldn’t see his face.”

Ron Reyes with Luu Thi Kim Hien. They met in Hanoi at the very first meeting of sons and daughters from both sides. Ron and Luu Thi Kim Hien's children are the same age.

Ron Reyes with Luu Thi Kim Hien. They met in Hanoi at the very first meeting of sons and daughters from both sides. Ron and Luu Thi Kim Hien's children are the same age.




Margaret Von Lienen with Nguyen Thi Hong Diem. Ms. Diem’s father died in 1970. Two years later her mother, who had become a soldier, was killed. Ms. Hong was raised by her grandparents. She works with a local friendship organization that promotes positive relationships between Vietnam and other countries. She said that she knew other sons and daughters in the Saigon area and wanted to learn from our experience in the U.S. so that she could reach more of them.

Margaret Von Lienen with Nguyen Thi Hong Diem. Ms. Diem’s father died in 1970. Two years later her mother, who had become a soldier, was killed. Ms. Hong was raised by her grandparents. She works
with a local friendship organization that promotes positive relationships between Vietnam and other countries. She said that she knew other sons and daughters in the Saigon area and wanted to learn from our experience in the U.S. so that she could reach more of them.

Margot Carlson Delogne with Phan Thi Thu Thuy. Margot's father, John W. Carlson, was shot down near Bien Hoa on December 7, 1966. His remains were never found. Ms. Thuy's father is one of only three people memorialized in a statue in the middle of the country. She would like to give us a tour of the area when we return.

Margot Carlson Delogne with Phan Thi Thu Thuy. Margot's father, John W. Carlson, was shot down near Bien Hoa on December 7, 1966. His remains were never found. Ms. Thuy's father is one of only three people memorialized in a statue in the middle of the country. She would like to give us a tour of the area when we return.

 

“True reconciliation does not consist in merely forgetting the past.”
Nelson Mandela