An NVA soldier and his son hid in the jungle for 40 years thinking the Vietnam War was still ongoing | Summary and Q&A

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January 25, 2022
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An NVA soldier and his son hid in the jungle for 40 years thinking the Vietnam War was still ongoing

TL;DR

A North Vietnamese soldier and his son hid in the jungle for 40 years after the Vietnam War, unaware that it had already ended.

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Key Insights

  • ❤️‍🩹 The Vietnam War's impact extended beyond its official end in 1975, leaving many traumatized and physically injured individuals.
  • 😱 Hovantan and Long's survival in the jungle for 40 years highlights the extreme lengths people will go to avoid the horrors of war.
  • 🥺 The isolation and trauma experienced by war survivors can lead to severe mental health issues.
  • 🛟 The story of Hovantan and Long serves as a reminder of the forgotten lives of those affected by war and the difficulties they face when reintegrating into society.
  • 🏝️ Land mines and bombings during the Vietnam War caused significant casualties and displacements.
  • 💇 The changing political landscape and technological advancements can be overwhelming and isolating for individuals who have been cut off from society for a long time.
  • ❓ The distortions and conflicting accounts surrounding Hovantan and Long's story emphasize the challenges of uncovering the truth behind historical events.

Transcript

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Hovantan and Long survive in the jungle for 40 years?

They survived by foraging for food in the jungle, hunting small animals, and eventually growing their own crops. They also received occasional visits from a mysterious stranger who brought them supplies.

Q: Why were Hovantan and Long afraid to return to society?

Years of isolation and severe mental health issues caused them to develop a deep mistrust and irrational fear of the outside world. They believed that the horrors of the Vietnam War were still ongoing.

Q: How did Hovantan and Long react to their return to society?

They struggled to adapt to the changed world. They missed the solitude of the jungle and found the new world noisy, overcrowded, and overwhelming. Long, in particular, faced difficulties due to his lack of formal education and inability to communicate effectively.

Q: How did Hovantan and Long's story end?

Hovantan died of old age in 2017, while Long passed away in 2021 from liver cancer. Long never married or had more children.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • A North Vietnamese soldier named Hovantan and his one-year-old son, Long, hid in the jungle after their home was destroyed in an American air raid in 1972.

  • They survived in isolation, relying on foraged food and small animals, while developing severe mental health issues.

  • After four decades, they were convinced to return to society by their presumed-dead son/brother, but struggled to adapt to the changed world.

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