In South Vietnam, a 73-year-old rice farmer has joined the army to avenge the loss of his son who was killed by the Viet Cong two years ago.
In South Vietnam, a 73-year-old rice farmer has joined the army to avenge the loss of his son who was killed by the Viet Cong two years ago. It took the old man, Nguyen Van Moi, four months to convince the army that he was serious about joining. He was finally given command of the small defence unit of his village, Bau Sau, and has since achieved considerable success against the Viet Cong by using local farmers as an early warning system on troop movements. The province's senior American military adviser has commented: "If we had one man like him in every village the war in this province would be over."
SYNOPSIS: In South Vietnam, a unit of government troops are briefed by their commander- a 73-year-old former rice farmer. The old man. Nguyen Van Moi, applied to join the army after his son was killed by the Viet cong two years ago. It took four months to convince the authorities that he was serious.
Despite his age, Moi was put in command of a small unit defending Bau Sau, a village one mile form his farm. After 15 months in uniform he has proved that as far as leadership goes, age doesn't count. His young troops respect him, and local farmers have cooperated to form an early warning system on troop movements - keeping Viet Cong guerrillas out of the area.
Nguyen Van Moi's switch from plough to gun came after a Viet Cong detachment called at his farm one night and ordered him to hand over his son for military training. He refused. He says the Communists then shot the youth dead in front of him.
Respect for elders is deeply rooted in the Vietnamese character, and in Moi's case its tactical possibilities have not ben unnoticed. the local American military adviser has said: "If we had a man like Moi in every village, the war in this province would be over."