Troops in Truong Sa islands welcome early Tet
PSNews – On the last days of 2016, a social policy team of the Naval Region 4 Command visited many small islands in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago district, bringing Tet (lunar New Year) gifts to naval troops, who protect the maritime sovereignty of Vietnam.
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The following is a story told by a member of the working team.
In this year’s voyage to Truong Sa archipelago, we came to several islands of the central archipelago, including Da Lon, Co Lin, Len Dao, Sing Ton Dong, Tien Nu, Nui Le, Toc Tan and Phan Vinh, and celebrated the early Tet with naval officers and soldiers on these islands, each of which is considered a jewel of our Fatherland.
The Tet celebration with the naval officers and soldiers has left many unforgettable memories to us. After taking us around the island to visit the island’s projects and facilities and learn about lives of islander officers and soldiers on Sinh Ton Dong island, Lieutenant Colonel Le Ngoc Dung, the island unit’s Political Commissar introduced us to specialties of the island, such as sea poison trees and sand lines formed from corals.
Our working team and islander troops used leaves of the sea poison tree and phrynium to wrap “Banh Chung” (the traditional Vietnamese cake made mainly of glutinous rice, beans and pork for Tet). We also cleaned and decorated the ancestors’ altar and held a music exchange programme.
Saying goodbye to the officers and soldiers on Sinh Ton Dong island, we continued heading toward Nui Le island. Because of rough seas, our voyage was delayed. On the morning of December 31
st 2016, the sun rose from the East, signaling a peaceful day. To ensure safety for the team, we came to Nui Le island on military canoes.
On the last day of the year, we were on an island far away from the mainland, doing a very significant job – delivering letters full of sentiment of troops’ families to islander troops. In the late afternoon, we joined the island’s troops cooking traditional dishes for Tet, such as bamboo shoot soup, boiled chicken, spring rolls to celebrate the New Year.
At the holy moment when the old year is coming to an end and the new year is entering, the naval soldiers were still there on duty, guarding the Fatherland’s seas and islands and firmly protecting national sovereignty over the seas and islands.
On the Eve of the New Year, the ship blew 3 long whistles, breaking off the silent night, welcoming the New Year. We, officers from the mainland and islander troops shook hands, and wished each other a successful and Happy New Year.