HÀ NAM — Nguyễn Đình Cường, 62, a veteran, has lived in Duy Tiên War Invalids Nursing Centre in Hà Nam Province for more than 40 years.
Cường, who was severely injured in the war against the Khmer Rouge regime in 1978 in Cambodia, said the centre has been a warm home for him along with many other veterans.
"The medical staff have taken care of my health and spirit every day for more than 40 years as if they are my family," he said.
He said he decided to not get married after he returned from the war and instead he chose to live at the centre in between visits to his mother which he does twice a year.
Cường said every year, on War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day (July 27), he receives gifts and encouragement from the Government, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs as well as the local authority.
“I feel touched,” he said.
Another veteran, Nguyễn Thanh Huyên, of Giao Thuỷ District, Nam Định Province, who has also lived at the centre for more than 40 years after he was badly crippled fighting against the Khmer Rouge.
Huyên said the material life of soldiers had improved year after year.
All of the veteran's rooms have had air conditioning and televisions installed, he said, and the rooms are always clean and airy.
Cường and Huyên are among 59 veterans, who are long term residents of the centre. The oldest veteran is over 90 years old while the youngest veteran is just over 60.
Most of the veterans have serious injuries that have reduced their working capacity by 81 per cent.
Therefore, doctors and nurses at the centre have to help the veterans eat and bathe and to take their medicine every day.
Đoàn Văn Kiện, deputy director of the centre, where he has worked for nearly 30 years, said that taking care of wounded and sick soldiers was not simply about prescribing medication but also taking care of their spirit.
"Most of the wounded and sick soldiers were injured as teenagers or in their early 20s, they hadn't even had the chance to fall in love with anyone," he said.
"They then decided to not get married because of their severe injuries," he added.
As a result, the veterans don't just suffer from physical pain but they also suffer from loneliness and emptiness, he said.
Kiện said he and other medical staff were always ready to listen to the veterans talk, he said.
Although the work is not easy, Kiện said it is important to take care of and serve the wounded soldiers who had sacrificed their blood and bone for the cause of national liberation and reunification.
The doctors and nurses working at the centre have a caring attitude and feel a sense of responsibility to the wounded soldiers, he added.
Mã Thị Bích Nhạn, director of the centre said that taking care of veterans was a political task and it had special meaning. It expresses our gratitude to the previous generations who bravely fought and sacrificed for the independence and freedom of the nation.
Thus, doctors and medical staff of the centre will continue making efforts to better take care of the veterans in the future, she said. — VNS
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