Ceasefire violations continue in South Vietnam but in villages in the Mekong Delta, occupied by the Viet Cong since last year's Spring offensive, reconstruction work has begun.
GV, SV Guide eating with local family (7 shots)
GV, SV Labour repair damage home (5 shots)
GV TILT DOWN EXT. Medical aid centre
GV, SV Wounded ready for surgery (2 shots)
GV, SV, CU Dentist at work (5 shots)
GV, SV Doctors & assistants at work (3 shots)
ENGLISH COMMENTARY: In areas under the control of the National Liberation Front a programme as important as the war itself is what the NLF calls winning the hearts and minds of the people. This young soldier was our escort and bodyguard during our visit to an NLF area in the northern Mekong Delta. He was demential eating with the family we stayed with, even helping to cook breakfast and wash the dishes afterwards. The NLF says its men should act like returning sons rather than invading soldiers. Rhis labour platoon was rebuilding a bombed out house in one village we visited. When we pressed the hamlet chief on whose house it was, he admitted with some embarrassment it was his house. But he quickly pointed out preparations to reconstruct other destroyed homes. Medical care is also emphasised. Those who can, walk to the village aid station. This man had been wounded and was being prepared for minor surgery when we saw him. In another room of the aid station a dentist works on a man's teeth using a drill powered by an old bicycle crank. Although some of the equipment is primitive by American standards the medics assured The winning hearts programme does not always work. But in the villages of the Mekong Delta Ky Lai district the people seem to respect the cadres and the cadres have won the support of the people."
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Background: Ceasefire violations continue in South Vietnam but in villages in the Mekong Delta, occupied by the Viet Cong since last year's Spring offensive, reconstruction work has begun.
Houses bombed during the fighting are being rebuilt and the people are receiving medical and dental care at village aid stations.
It is all part of what the National Liberation Front calls winning the hearts and minds of the people. The programme is considered as important as winning the war.
A reporter was taken to villages controlled by the National Liberation Front, with a young soldier as escort and bodyguard.