|An Agent Orange victim|
“After the liberation, I have joint hands with eight comrades of mine setting up the company in order to make “Regiment No. 33” history. In the initial stage, the company faced with a lot of difficulties, as we had little experience in doing business” said Colonel Tran Van Luan, Former Political Commissar of Regiment No. 33, chairman of Management board of Regiment No. 33 Joint Stock Company.
The company was founded with a mission to assist poor veterans and their families, so it received a lot of support and encouragement from their former comrades.
Currently the company is developing rapidly in the fields of civic construction: bridges and roads, ground preparation and site clearance, dealing in properties, restaurants, hotels and tourism.
In addition, it also has factories producing glassware, bamboo and aquaculture products.
The Board of Management has decided to put aside part of the profit to establish a Regiment No. 33 Veteran Association.
The association’s members are veterans throughout the country, who are eager to help the poor, particularly Agent Orange victims.
“As a soldier, we have already experienced the lingering effects of not only physical, but mental scars. So now we want to alleviate the social burdens” said Colonel Luan.
After visiting some Agent Orange nursing homes in the country, the Regiment No. 33 Company came to the realization that none of the facilities is up to the professional standards, despite enjoying strong support from the Party and the Government.
Therefore the management board has sought approval from Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee for a Saigon Nursing Home project.
The nursing home is expected to be built on 10 hectares area in District 9 and will be a home to Agent Orange victims and the City’s elderly.
The company’s philosophy is “among 200 soldiers of Regiment No. 33, who are now living in the south, there were 150 war invalids, and most of them are Agent Orange victims. It is just a small pain in the national legacy of war suffering. So the Regiment hopes that the Saigon Nursing Home will go some way in relieving the difficulties war invalids’ families are facing”.
Talking about the nursing home, Manager of the company Phan Duc Chi, a war invalid said: “By building the Saigon Nursing Home, we are hoping to share the difficulties of the senior citizens whose children were killed in the war. In addition, it’s also a rendezvous for the lonely in the twilight of their lives”
“Investment of the nursing home is estimated at VND200 billion. In the initial stage, we will take care of 200 Agent Orange victims and provide them a monthly allowance of VND one million each. The nursing home is expected to be developed into an international nursing center, enabling it to take care of up to 10,000 Agent Orange victims. Currently, the project is supported by many foreign veterans from Thailand, Australia, U.S. and Korea. We know that we are entering a tough ‘battle’ but there will be no flinching” said Mr. Chi.