Where a war is still being fought in Vietnam

By Ngoc Thanh   July 27, 2016 | 02:20 am PT
The Vietnam War ended a long time ago, but mental and physical pains still torture veterans today.

Over the last 40 years, Kim Bang Nursing Center for The Invalids in the northern province of Ha Nam has taken in 500 seriously-wounded war veterans. It is home to 111 permenant patients, 38 of whom suffer from serious mental problems.

Many patients are unable to remember who they are, where they are from and why they are there. Many briefly remember and recognize their relatives, only to forget them in an instant. This tragic cycle goes on day after day with no hope of it ever ending.

Shouting and screaming as if he were in a fight. That is what Ha Huu Sao, 56, has been going through everyday since he left the battlefield. The war left him with brain damage. Sometimes he remembers who he is, sometimes he forgets. And the veteran has yet to find a brave enough life-partner to care for him. The center has been his home for as long as he can remember. 


Ha Huu Sao who suffers from a chronic mental disorder.

Tran Van Trong, 70, was wounded twice in the war. When he was admitted to the center, he was like a baby: he could not remember anything, he could not do anything by himself. After 20 years of treatment, Trong's condition has improved. Now he can talk and walk.


Tran Van Trong spends between 10 and 15 days each month in the center.


The state funds the patients' meals, $90 per person per month.

Not all the patients can feed themselves. To Nguyen Xuan Tai, 67, basic things like walking or eating are far from simple. He always needs a nurse by his side to help him get through the day.


Nguyen Xuan Tai, a veteran.


Medical personnel take care of a patient.


Some memories are still there; some have been lost forever.

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