Every war has two sides. Each has its own story to explain the fighting, its own aftermath to endure.

  Nguyen Duy Dung and Patty Young Loew   were just two years old when their fathers died. Their fathers were also killed in the same way -- by a shot to the head.

Nguyen Duy Dung and Patty Young Loew were just two years old when their fathers died. Their fathers were also killed in the same way -- by a shot to the head.

The Vietnam War was no exception. Debate continues about its purpose and ultimate effect. For many, the pain of war never ends, including the children on both sides who lost fathers in the conflict. There are an estimated 20,000 in the U.S., and 70,000 or more in Vietnam. We grew up with one version of the story about why our fathers fought. We never heard the other side of the story until we met for the first time in December 2015.

 Ron Reyes points to the area where his father was killed on a hill overlooking Khe Sanh. Every trip participant from the U.S. was able to visit the site where his or her father died, and to hold a service. 

Ron Reyes points to the area where his father was killed on a hill overlooking Khe Sanh. Every trip participant from the U.S. was able to visit the site where his or her father died, and to hold a service. 

 

 

The 2 Sides Project organized an inaugural visit to Vietnam for six sons and daughters from the U.S. We met with more than 20 Vietnamese sons and daughters in Hanoi, Da Nang, the Quang Tri province, and Saigon. We shared stories and compared histories. We shed tears. And we found new understanding, and healing. A documentary about the trip will premiere in 2017.

The 2 Sides Project is now a nonprofit organization. Our goal is to help even more sons and daughters affected by the Vietnam War to connect with each other. But why stop there? Wouldn't it be incredible to bring any child who has lost a parent in any war together with the other side? That's our ultimate mission: to create a deeper understanding of ourselves and each other, and to pave a way toward healing from war.