When Hell Visited the Village

When the Navy SEAL squad known as Kerrey's Raiders went into Thanh Phong in 1969, the men were dropped off by speedboat and crept in by cover of night. Today visitors to the remote coastal village come by daylight, by road and ferry, past lush coconut groves and over the countless fingers of the Mekong River as it branches across the delta. Of late, those traveling the one-lane clay road to Thanh Phong—now home to about 380 families who fish and grow rice—include foreign journalists trying to corroborate an atrocity and Vietnamese government officials accompanying them.


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