Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tet Offensive Survivors Reunited After Google Search

Nurses, soldier who saved them in Vietnam reunite
The News-Press
Patricia Borns
October 27, 2015
Paliughi still has a photo of the wall in the nurses' room stitched with bullet holes. "They were brave," he says. "They're nurses."
On the night of the Vietnamese lunar New Year, Ron Paliughi woke to the sound of fireworks in the seacoast city of Nha Trang.

Only "it wasn't fireworks," the decorated Army veteran remembers. "It was the rockets and mortars of 850 North Vietnamese soldiers launching the Tet Offensive."

Housed in a decaying French colonial villa were Carol Portner and Maureen Orr, young nurses on a USAID mission. As the streets filled with corpses and chaos, the soldiers' and nurses' paths crossed in a life-saving moment.

No names were exchanged. They barely saw one another's faces through the tear gas and smoke. What were the chances they would reunite 46 years later at Portner's Gulf Harbour home in south Fort Myers? And yet last week, the group met again for the second time in two years. It took a death to bring them together.
A Google search

After working in 75 countries, Steve Orr wrote a book about his travels, "The Perennial Wanderer, an American in the World."

In the end, Paliughi's search came down to Googling the words 'Robert's Compound, Nha Trang, Vietnam.' A chapter from Orr's book popped up describing the Tet Offensive there. The nurses were named. He reached out to Orr to confirm.
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