John McCain may have gotten all the headlines, but there were plenty of other heroes who returned to Vietnam for the 25th anniversary of the war’s end.
John McCain may have gotten all the headlines, but there were
plenty of other heroes who returned to Vietnam for the 25th anniversary
of the war’s end.
One such man was Hill & Knowlton CEO Tom Hoog, who returned to Vietnam
for the first time as a member of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Corporate Counsel, a group of CEOs who look for opportunities for the
two nations to work together.
A Naval aviator in the Pacific (Third) Fleet during his six-year tour of
duty, Hoog spent three days in Hanoi and two in Ho Chi Minh City last
month. While there, he visited the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison, where
several of his friends, including McCain, were confined.
’It was a really sobering experience and to me, a testimony to what
incredible human beings they were,’ Hoog said.
He also expressed surprise at the lack of economic progress in northern
Vietnam over the past quarter century. ’You see an entrepreneurial
spirit, but you’re taken aback by how behind a lot of the world is.’
As a gesture of goodwill, Hoog’s delegation made a presentation of
computers to the University of Hanoi.
So will he return in 2025? ’I just hope I’m around for the 50th
anniversary,’ he quipped.