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Service & Sacrifice: Return to Vietnam, 5 years later

We reconnect with a group of Vietnam veterans after their 2017 journey to a country they first saw 50 years ago at war.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — For a group of East Tennessee Vietnam veterans their return journey to that country almost 50 years after their service marked the trip of a lifetime.

“As far as trips go, this one ranks right up there at the top,” said Cliff Willis who was a Navy “river rat” during his war service.

In a recent group interview, we reconnected with Willis and five other fellow travelers to see how their 2017 trip stuck with them.

“I think all of that went back together and everything you just made us all closer,” said Army veteran Johnny Hurst who wore his old dog tags throughout the trip and said he took upwards of 500 photos across those ten days overseas.

10News produced the documentary Facing Ghosts: Return to Vietnam on a group of almost two dozen veterans who all traveled back together.

In addition to hearing their reflections on the reception they received by the Vietnamese people and the stark differences in the landscape, when asked how many of them would go back, everyone raised their hand.

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