911 – Facebook helped reunite Tasmanian Vietnam veterans

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Dez Blazely and Barry Butler, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Dez Blazely and Barry Butler serving in the Vietnam War in 1969.

It has been fifty years since young people from many places including the USA, Korea, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania donned a uniform and fought for their country against the rising tide of Communism in Vietnam. Participation in such an event bonds forever those who fought together in the Vietnam War. When veterans of the conflict get back together after a long periods of separation the effects can be tremendously Rewarding.

Sarah Aquilina, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Sarah Aquilina of the Launceston, Tasmania Examiner

One very effective way for Vietnam Veterans to reconnect after so many years is Facebook. In this episode of the podcast Vietnam Veteran News a story from Tasmania that illustrates the value of social networks like Facebook in helping Vietnam Vets connect will be highlighted. It comes from The Examiner of Launceston, Tasmania titled: Tasmanian uses Facebook to reunite Vietnam veterans  and was submitted by Sarah Aquilina.

Aquilina’s story describes how the daughter, Leena Wiz, of a Tasmanian Vietnam Veteran, Rex Targett, helped him reconnect with fellow Vietnam Veterans. It all started when she was helping her father digitize his photos from Vietnam. Rex began to notice that he could not recall the names of many of his compatriots in the pictures.

Leena took it upon herself to post a few of the pictures on Facebook and see what would happen when she asked for help in identification of the Veterans. The ‘incredible’ community response was unexpected. The post was shared more than 3400 times, received 420 reactions and more than 200 comments in three days. She said: “It was emotionally overwhelming as it brought to mind that my father and the men that served were not only my heroes but so many others.”

Leena was able to set up a phone call where her father was able to speak to Des Blazely, a mate he had not spoken with since 1969. Leena said this about the conversation: “There are no words to express how it made me feel seeing them chat about their time in Vietnam.”

All Vietnam Veterans are encouraged to utilize social tools like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Tumblr, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc to reconnect with fellow Vietnam Veterans. It just might do you a world of good.


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