Friday, March 24, 2017

Salutations Noreen

Noreen Doloughty

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Magnum Spokesperson for the Education Center!

Tom Selleck (of "Magnum, PI" fame) has joined the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund as their national spokesperson for the education center to be built at the Wall. You can read the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund press release here. And there's information about the education center here.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Group of Pittsburgh leaders to visit Vietnam

A group of business and community leaders from Pittsburgh is headed to Vietnam in mid-February. Read the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story by Ron DaParma here. WDUQ News also had the story on air this morning and has a blog post about it on their blog.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Macadamia Nuts at 21 West

Originally uploaded by noreen_ellen

I'm going through photos today, as a way to delay the inevitable--digging my car out from under nearly a week's worth of ice and snow. I found this photo from Memorial Day, 2004. That's me holding the macadamia nuts near my dad's name. Thanks to Patty and Jimmy Kuroiwa for making it such a special weekend for me...and of course for the macadamia nuts!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friends of Danang events and projects

I can't wait for the next Friends of Danang meeting. It's on Thursday, February 12 at 7pm at Enrico Biscotti. We'll be making plans for our Vietnamese Dinner on April 26. It's a fundraiser for the school we are building--we're partnered with a group of veterans from India Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines and the Vietnam Children's Fund. Our commitment to the school project is $50,000 and we are currently over the $30,000 mark! The dinner is a great event--lots of fun to plan and to work--our friend Thanh and her family do a fantastic job with planning the menu and preparing the food. I am looking forward to spending time with them doing whatever prep work they allow me to do. In past years, I've learned to slice lotus root and for our Vietnamese luncheon in November I learned how to peel some very large shrimp.

In addition to the school, we're hoping to provide a source of clean water for the school's children. The school will be located in the Danang area of Vietnam, and clean water is a major issue (especially for children!) in that part of the world.

We are hoping to have the funds in place to have the school ready for a dedication ceremony in the spring of 2010.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Vietnam stories

Last week, I attended a memorial service for a former coworker and a great guy, Joe Fahy. You can read his news obituary here. Joe died the day before Christmas Eve, and after the service a woman I know told me that she got up on Christmas Eve and walked down the stairs and her Christmas tree lights were on. She is convinced that Joe had something to do with it. My gift from Joe is the story he worked on with me, about my dad. Joe was able to get parts of the story I was unable to get myself because of his empathy and focus and attention to detail.

I was trying to explain some of this to one of Joe's sons when he said, "You must have been really close to your dad." And I told him, I never knew my dad. And I told him I wanted him to know that even though I didn't know his dad all that well, I wanted him to know that he made a positive difference in my life.

So it seems oddly coincidental to me that a week after Joe's memorial service, I ended up meeting a writer and an actor from the TV series "The Ghost Whisperer" at a book signing. I wouldn't have known about the event if it hadn't been for my friend Jean. I got to talk to the writer and actor about the episode about the soldier who was killed in Vietnam. and the son who never knew his soldier father. I wanted them to know from the perspective of a daughter who lost her father in the war, they handled it very well. And that I was in New Hampshire, with another daughter who lost her father in the war, when we turned on the TV and there it was--the pilot episode.

I found the episode in parts on YouTube. Here's a link to the last segment of the episode.

That episode was one of many things that confirmed for me that I needed to go to Vietnam, and I did go for the first time about six months after seeing that.

Since "The Ghost Whisperer" people asked me if I'd read a certain book about a woman who lost her dad in the war in the Cu Chi Tunnels, I know I need to find the book and read it. (Dummy me...I should have just stayed in the bookstore and found it there.)

And I think I know just the place on Polish Hill where I can read it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Justice for All

Okay, okay, okay...I admit it, I've been bad about updating this blog. I've been fairly busy of late with once again taking a course at Pitt in addition to working full-time and staying active with Friends of Danang. I was also recently part of a panel discussion at La Roche College, called Reconciliation and Healing: Remembering Vietnam. I met some amazing people can see some of them in the photos that are posted here. The Vietnamese women told very powerful, moving stories about their own challenges due to Agent Orange exposure, and what they're trying to do to help others who are also afflicted...including those not yet born, since the birth defects caused by Agent Orange exposure have not stopped. This is due to a variety of factors: the big one is that the US military left tons of the stuff behind, and didn't clean it up.

Basically, we're still killing and maiming Vietnamese people some 33 years after the fall of Saigon.

There's more about the Agent Orange campaign here.