Fervent supporters from mainland

In spite of the grueling and lonely time they have endured, the wives of soldiers in the oil-rig houses still make their efforts to fulfill their duty of a wife and a mother so that their husbands can firmly keep their mind on the work offshore.

Nguyen Huu Thuan and Nguyen Thi Luan in a trip with their children

Nguyen Huu Thuan, a soldier of oil-rig house DK1/2, has experienced his 14 years in old-rig houses. In most years of his marriage life with Nguyen Thi Luan, he had to spend Tet holiday with his comrades offshore.

In the very first year going home on furlough, his children looked at him like a stranger. They even burst into loud wails when he intended to hold them in his arms. She had to talk about him regularly for she did not want them to forget their father.

The more they grow up, the more they appreciate his job and love their father.

Since the children learnt writing, they together with their mother have sent their heartfelt letters to father even though these days telephone is popular. Maybe only the letters can sufficiently convey their deepest love to one another. 

Whenever there is a ship visiting oil-rig houses, she sends him food or drink and attaches three letters from her and the children. He also sends back three separate letters. His letters have been so valuable to Luan and her children that they keep them as their priceless treasure. 

Because Thuan rarely stays at home, his wife shoulders all the responsibilities, from the duty of a mother to even a father. Many times in her life that she encounters difficulties, she wishes he was there but then manages to overcome all by herself. She has tried lot of work as packing amberjacks, feeding pigs, renting rooms, etc. with the intention of earning more money for her small family.

To reassure him about their family, she never mentions the children’s illness or house destruction in the letters except her encouragement and sympathy with him. The children, Nguyen Minh Tuan, student of HCMC University of Medicine and Pharmacy and Thu Hong, tenth-grade student have done very well at school to please their parents.

Huong Lan, wife of Senior Lieutenant Nguyen Xuan Tai also confronted hardship on the day giving birth to their first-born child. Her husband could not take care of her at that time due to his duty offshore.

Tai only knew the presence of his son two month after birth because of the communication limit. Lan, however, seemed to understand her husband’s desire that she was still determined not to name the son and wait for him to come back.

First-grade Nguyen Xuan Quang Vinh, their son, has grown up with his mother’s good care and father’s strong love from the remote sea. Every time Vinh gets ten marks, he calls and shows them all to his father. To encourage his beloved son, Tai promises to bring Vinh a gift for each ten mark when he comes home.

Despite their husbands’ absences, wives such as Luan or Lan still try to manage their hearths and bring up the children well so that their husbands from the sea can be proud of their family. In order to do this, these women must have actually had an immense love and a great fortitude.

By Thach Thao and Mai Huong – Translated by Huu Duy

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