We're connecting 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.
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

 
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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.

 

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.

 
 
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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.

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.

 

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.”

 
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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.

 
 
 

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.

 
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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."

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.

 

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