The Good Works of Library of Vietnam Project


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Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi
December 18th 2005
Published: December 26th 2005
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Mike Meyers and Sam Rayburn checkout the Army Museum of Hanoi.
The Library of Vietnam Project mission is to build libraries in Vietnam. It was started by Army Vietnam Veteran Chuck Theusch of Milwaukee Wisconsin. Chuck made a trip to Vietnam in 1999. It was part of a round the world trip. After seeing Vietnam again and seeing the need for books in the Vietnamese schools he canceled the rest of his trip around the world and used the money to build a library near Quan Tri Vietnam.

Since that amazing start his mission and projects have grown. He has now built over 20 libraries in three countries. There is now the Library of Cambodia Project and Library of Lao Project. His backers are almost 100 % Vietnam Veterans. One of his board members Ross Worley, former Special Forces Sgt Major is about ready to build the National Library of Afghanistan.

Part of my trip to Vietnam was going on a two week tour of these libraries in three countries. It was a fast moving, exhausting trip but rewarding in that we met some of the most interesting people of Southeast Asia.

The last person we met on the trip was Nguyen Xuan Vang who is a professor of
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Dedication of the new Library at Cam Lo
Hanoi University of Foreign Studies. His father was imprisoned by the French and tortured. He escaped. Later had a family which included Vang.

Vang says he can teach Vietnamese to anyone in two months. He gives a discount to all American Vietnam Veterans who want to study Vietnamese.

The first person we met was Library of Vietnam Project in country representative Tran Dinh Song. Tran can speak several languages and is a travel agent professionally. Song spent two and a half years in a reeducation camp after the war. His brother spent 9 years. Song was reduced to eating insects, mice and about anything to survive. He did and is doing his best to build a better Vietnam.

We met Lor Chandara from Phnom Penh Cambodia. Lor is a survivor of the Killing Fields of Cambodia. Lor is associate editor of the Cambodia Daily. Lor built his own private library. He has great ideas on making the library viable to his community.

During the course of our visits to libraries we visited the Unification library in Tan Hep, Canal B. It is the most beautiful library I visited and had the most books. It was built
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Mike Meyer signs autographs.
by District 5690 of Rotary International and several women’s church groups.

Space does not allow me time to tell you all about this great project.

We had two professionals with us. Gerry Cullen and Larry Goldsmith. Gerry is owner of “The Video Works” of Roeland Park Ks and Larry is a professional writer. Their task was to document “Library of Vietnam Project” good works and make a professional video. They came at their own expense and will make the video at their own expense. They are committed to the project. All of the members of our group were travelling at their own expense. They included Francis “Chuck” Theusch, Chairman of Library of Viet Nam Project, Ross Worley of Wall-Ties, who has personally built several libraries in Lao and is from Shawnee Kansas, Mike Meyers former Chief Executive Officer of the VFW Foundation and now and is now Chief Executive Officer of an organization called "Salute American Hero," which fills in the cracks of the VA for disabled vets, Sue McKinney, among other things Owner of Red Decco Furniture Company and a Rotarian, Sam Rayburn, former Sgt Major Special Forces, Steve House of the Vietnam Heritage Foundation. Kent Converse,
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Steve House helps assemble wheelchairs.
former Army Helicopter Pilot and one of his Vietnam Daughters, Ngat Dao made up the rest of the group. Ngat was a valuable edition to the group with her English and Vietnamese language skills. All of these people were committed to building a better future for the people of Vietnam. All travelled at their own expense. The photos tell some of the a little of the rest of the story.



Additional photos below
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Library of Vietnam Project

Chuck Theusch tries out a new wheelchair. They are mfg in VN for less than half the price of those made in China. A little over 60 dollars a piece.
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Library of Vietnam Project

Ngat Dao checks out Kent's video.
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Library of Vietnam Project

Meeting with the library board.
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Library of Vietnam Project

A scene of a typical Vietnames women on her way to market. Taking in front of the Imperial Citadel of Hue.
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Library of Vietnam Project

Dedication of Library at Cam Lo.
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Library of Vietnam Project

Meeting with Library Board
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Library of Vietnam Project

The Unification Library. Built by 23 Rotary Clubs of District 5690 of Rotary International, 12 United Methodist Women Groups, two Christian Church Women Groups and about 50 individual donors.
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Library of Vietnam Project

Sam Rayburn on the boat to Unification Library.
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Library of Vietnam Project

A wheel chair recepicant shows some skill.


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