Vietnam has evoked strong emotions in me from the time I was a kid watching the American war there on television.

When I interviewed a former Marine for Veterans Day articles last year, his story was so compelling that when he said he was going back to Hue City after surviving the incomprehensibly brutal battle there 50 years ago, I seized the chance to go too.

It would be an opportunity to tell the story of one man’s return to a place where he picked up the heavy pack of grief and pain that he has carried throughout his adult life. Would this trip help him lighten his load as he resumes his life back in the States? That’s one of many things I want to learn in Vietnam.

–Diana Nelson Jones