Littoral Combat Ship


by Thong Ba Le

He was awakened in the silent night,
by the voice he heard somewhere from up high.
He opened the door to the patio deck
the moon was hanging in the western sky.

He pondered the words said in a deep voice,
sounding like a command, giving no choice;
a task, a mission, a crusade of some kind,
designated to him with the word "Ahoy".

He sat down on the cold patio chair
supported his head with both hands holding
his hair. He felt old for this kind of quest,
like the aged clown in the last country fair.

Nature surrounded him with a strange sound,
echoed by the insects winging around.
They uplifted his spirit, so he could
reach out to his star, once it had been found.

He vowed to fight, but this time in his life,
with a pen, never a shot being fired,
and tell the world what really had happened,
judgement day would come, quest of a knight.

(Please click here to view slide show)



The Vietnamese people fought the war against the French Colonists for over a century, during which hundreds of thousands of young nationalists sacrificed their lives to liberate our homeland. We have all spent time mourning our beloved friends or relatives who died in the cruel war that all but destroyed our underdeveloped country. Vietnam survived only because of her proud and patriotic people.

Every time I sit down to write my bittersweet memoirs or a line of a heartfelt poetry or research the establishment and the passage of my dear Navy, I feel waves of sorrow undulating inside me; I sit and think that I want to escape from this life to the life that I knew before—of a solitary seascape oscillating in the swing of ebb tides, a life of a warrior that was cut short by unwanted war and by destiny. But then, after that momentary wish, I think about the young Vietnamese generations that include my children and my grandchildren. They are our national treasures, the future of our country and they need guidance in returning to their roots and maintaining their patriotic consciences. Each time, this convinces me to renew my pledge to write about our heritage and my advantageous experiences.

Effective communication of the valiant history of the Vietnamese people is crucial. Naval history plays a great part in the retelling of the war in Vietnam, due to our strategic position and special location in South East Asia. History, in to my opinion, is the events that shape the life of a nation. Future generations will read about our history and will retrieve the truth from it and apply that truth to their own lives...


Brothers In War And Peace


The Last Battle

Tết Mậu Thân Offensive - Year of the Monkey

The War Of Vietnam

A Journey To Remember


Teardrops In The Night

Cry of A Seagull

The Book of Poetry


Chiến Tranh và Tự Do

Ba Người Bạn - Một Cuộc Chiến

Cuộc Bể Dâu


Thơ Định Hướng


In Memory of The Vietnam War


Introduction The Bilingual Poetry

The Vietnamese American Poetic Spirit


Commanding Legacy


Organizations and Progressive Activities of the Republic of Vietnam Navy

The Value of Freedom

Biên Khảo: Hải Quân Việt Nam Cọng Ḥa

Cảm nghĩ về cuốn sách "Don't sweat the small stuff"


Slide show in YouTube


Two Generations, One Aspiration

The Painting


The Journey Of Destiny
(Courtesy of

The Republic of Vietnam Navy
(Courtesy of

Patrol Torpedo Boat Fast - 06 (PTF Zero Six)
(Courtesy of

Tài Liệu "Trường Vơ Bị Quốc Gia Việt Nam"
(Courtesy of


The Entertainment Page

The Book Of Love

My French Page


My Combat Memories

Cơ Xưởng Hạm Vĩnh Long - HQ802

The Last Journey of The Old Sailor

by Thong Ba Le

... The old sailor takes a look around him; the sea is so immense, a vast stretch of color, the blue of the sea merging with the azure of the sky. He thinks that if there were no rosy clouds drifting on the far horizon, no one could recognize the boundary between the sea and the sky. Before him, nature appears as a blue carpet spreading endlessly into the horizon. The white lines decorating the carpet are white-capped waves that seem to have been drawn by an angel who has used a magic pen to magnify the beauty of the universe.

The wind blows in the old sailor's face and a strange vision suddenly comes to him. What he sees in front of his eyes and around him is a vast blue screen of water, far away is the horizon at the starboard of his boat and a little further are the pink clouds shaping strange pictures of unknown animals. In the furthest distance is the immense and boundless universe, from which the beginning and the existence of the cosmos and the world had taken place after the "BIG BANG," the universe's biggest and most forceful explosion. And over there, also the finish of the journeys of mankind, living creatures and things that had been created by this "BIG BANG".
All of a sudden, it seems that the old sailor has just found the answer to his life:
"After many years in the war and struggling for a living, he has often asked himself what is the origin of life; destiny and war had maneuvered him to many challenges and had affected his married life..."

The old sailor is so happy, he wants to yell very loudly; he wishes to cheer noisily for himself and to tell his dog, his old friend, about his wonderful discovery. All his life, all of the struggling, fighting, surviving and heartbreaking was to prepare for his journey to return to the beginning which had created him.
The universe that created all living creatures, the existence of the world, all beautiful things, mankind, was only a hypothesized calculated revolution. The commencement is the finish and the end is the beginning of the next period and so on without end because the conclusion of this period is the initiation of the following one. He is so excited and wants to return home immediately so he can tell his beloved wife about the answer to his quest. He suspects that she will be delighted to hear about this discovery. A great emotion is rising up inside of him.
Unexpectedly, the old sailor feels an acute and sharp pain in the middle of his chest, then his left arm becomes very painful and his left cheek is gradually getting numb. The old golden retriever seems to realize something has happened to her master and she runs around him while the old sailor holds the arms of his pilot chair and slowly leans himself against the back and sits down.

The sun is already rising to its zenith at twelve o'clock high. The boat is undulating and surging, bobbing with the tide in the direction of the far shore and the white clouds are flowing in the azure sky; the old sailor slowly closes his eyes. He hears somewhere, in the air, the famous words of General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers in South East Asia who defeated the valiant military forces of Japan in Pacific. MacArthur, who also stopped the aggression of the Red Communist Army in Korea and was a graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point once said:
"Old Soldiers never die, they just fade away".

His soul is carried on the wind to infinity, to the other side of the universe, where his next life and the start of a new adventure await the old sailor.

Virginia, January 26th 2021

Mai đây nếu có một ngày,
Xa ĺa đất tạm, truyện này c̣n đây...

Once day when it comes to my time
Departing from the temporary world, this writing remains forever,,,

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