Update: 18:19 | 25/08/2021
(BGO) - During his 43-year military career, Colonel Nguyen Van Son, Chairman of the 1972 Quang Tri Ancient Citadel Soldiers Association of Bac Giang province, former officer of the Operations Department under the Ministry of National Defense’s General Staff, were honored to meet General Vo Nguyen Giap three times.
In December 1971, 17-year-old Nguyen Van Son from Lan Mau commune (Luc Nam district) joined the army. After 5 months of training in Tu Son, his unit advanced to the fierce battlefield of Quang Tri.
General Vo Nguyen Giap visits and talks with self-defense soldiers in the K and T areas of Hanoi - the unit that bravely and cleverly shot down the US’s E.111 plane on the night of December 22, 1972. File photo.
Mentioning the three times he met General Vo Nguyen Giap, Colonel Nguyen Van Son said that after the 81-day battle in the Ancient Citadel, he was sent to training at the Army Officer College 1. Here, for the first time, I met the General when he visited the school in 1973.
Trainees sat in the hall and the General stood on the podium to talk. He talked a lot of contents. Regarding Vietnam's political and military policies and military art, he said it was an honor for officers and students to be trained at this school - the first school of our army.
“We listened to the General's advice as if we were given strength and will to fight, to win, and to strive to study and train regularly”.
The delegation of the Operations Departments pays Tet visit to General Vo Nguyen Giap and consults him on the draft of the yearbook "History of the Operations Department" (Colonel Nguyen Van Son, fourth from left).
After nearly 5 years of studying and training at the school, in 1977, Son received his task at Army Corps 2. In the fall of 1992, during a convalescence trip in Do Son (Hai Phong), for the second time, he met with General Vo Nguyen Giap.
He said: “This meeting made me very happy. That morning, the weather was cool, I got up early to walk and saw the General also walking here. Although he was more than 80 years old, the General was still very strong, walking firmly and majestically with white hair and a gentle smile... I suddenly froze in surprise, but then I stood at attention and welcomed him with a gesture in the army regulations.
“I followed the General for a long distance. The General also asked me about my health, family, wife and children, and encouraged me to stay strong and fulfill my duties well”.
The third time he met the General was in 2005. At that time, Son was working at the Operations Department. Preparing for the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the department on September 7 (1945-2005), Colonel Son accompanied a delegation of officers to the General's house at 30 Hoang Dieu (Hanoi) to extend the best wishes to him on the occasion of Tet (Lunar New Year) and consult him on the draft of the yearbook "History of the Operations Department".
Colonel Nguyen Van Son with memories of General Vo Nguyen Giap.
As the secretary of this yearbook, Colonel Son recorded the General's suggestions and directions very specifically and carefully. These comments were then taken by the Operations Department as the preface of the nearly 1,000-page yearbook. After that, the General took commemorative photos with the delegation.
On October 4, 2013, General Vo Nguyen Giap passed away and rested in the motherland of Quang Binh. All the three times visiting the old battlefield, Colonel Nguyen Van Son spent time going to Vung Chua – Dao Yen to offer incense and pay respect to the beloved General at his grave.
He was moved to say that: “Along with Uncle Ho, General Vo Nguyen Giap is a legend, a man talented in both martial arts and literature, a big but extremely warm and simple heart. I always consider my meetings with the General valuable belongings in my life."