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Life of Vietnamese war invalids, 40 years after southwest border defense war

Saturday, July 27, 2019, 12:00 GMT+7
Life of Vietnamese war invalids, 40 years after southwest border defense war
A post-war invalid moves around on a wheelchair at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

The southwest border defense war ended with a joint victory for Vietnam and Cambodia in 1979, but it left behind another fight – the battle of many Vietnamese war invalids against the post-war pain of injuries and diseases.

As many as 58 war invalids are currently treated at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Long Hai Town, Long Dien District of the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau.

Most of them used to be volunteer soldiers to Cambodia in the southwest border defense war that ended 40 years ago.

They suffered injuries on 81 percent or more of their bodies, with some having spent more than 15 years living there.

The sequelae of spinal wounds made the lower half of their body or even their whole body atrophy and caused loss of feelings, resulting in incontinent personal activities. They thus need the help of a nurse for all day-to-day routines.

Some of the war invalids at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center have never once had a chance to return to their homeland since their hospitalization.

But defying all those pains and sufferings, they choose to live a positive and happy life, which is proved by their excited, lighthearted chat every time someone recalled stories of the wartime.

Some more fortunate war invalids recovered from their pains and have moved out of the nurrsing center to continue life with their families.

Below are photos capturing slices of life of the war invalids at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center.

A post-war invalid moves around on a wheelchair at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
A war invalid moves around on a wheelchair at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
A post-war invalid moves around on a wheelchair at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
A war invalid moves around on a wheelchair at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Nguyen Duy Minh, a post-war invalid from the 1979 southwest border defense war with injuries on 96 percent of his body, is seen at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Nguyen Duy Minh, a war invalid from the southwest border defense war with injuries on 96 percent of his body, is seen at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Post-war invalid Nguyen Duy Minh is seen with his grandchild at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
War invalid Nguyen Duy Minh is seen with his grandchild at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Tran Toan, a post-war invalid from the 1979 southwest border defense war with the lower half of his body atrophied and losing of feelings, has a meal on a special bed made to serve his daily personal activities. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Tran Toan, a war invalid from the southwest border defense war with the lower half of his body atrophied and losing of feelings, has a meal on a special bed made to serve his daily personal activities. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Post-war invalid Tran Toan and his peers engage in a chat at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
War invalid Tran Toan and his peers engage in a chat at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Le Van Thanh, a post-war invalid from the 1979 southwest border defense war with a dent on the top of his head which was saved from a bullet by a soldier helmet, is seen in this photo. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Le Van Thanh, a war invalid from the southwest border defense war with a dent on the top of his head which was saved from a bullet by a soldier helmet, is seen in this photo. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Post-war invalid Le Van Thanh is seen with his wife. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
War invalid Le Van Thanh is seen with his wife. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Le Thi Sau, a post-war female invalid from the 1979 southwest border defense war with one lost arm and one amputated leg, is seen at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Le Thi Sau, a war invalid from the southwest border defense war with one lost arm and one amputated leg, is seen at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Phan Van Tinh, a post-war invalid from the 1979 southwest border defense war with the lower half of his body atrophied and losing of feelings, works as a motorbike mechanic. Tinh has done charity works for nearly 20 years, giving vocational training to undisciplined young people, giving free food to the poor twice a month, giving books to disadvantaged students. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Phan Van Tinh, a war invalid from the southwest border defense war with the lower half of his body atrophied, works as a motorbike mechanic. Tinh has done charity works for nearly 20 years, giving vocational training to undisciplined young people, giving free food to the poor twice a month, giving books to disadvantaged students. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Post-war invalids clap along a song at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
War invalids clap along a song at the Long Dat Wounded Soldiers’ Nursing Center located in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

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