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Young go-between delivered hope

Update: March, 24/2013 - 18:10

Rugged mission: Poong Hamlet in Thanh Hoa's Muong Lat District, which helped to bring fame and reputation to the Tâay Tien soldiers group.

At the age of of 13, Luong Chi Anh became the youngest liaison officer for the Tay Tien soldiers in the northern province of Thanh Hoa's Muong Lat District. Hoang Lam and An Vu report.

At the age of 13, Luong Chi Anh was assigned to be the youngest "liaison officer" in the resistance force in the central province of Thanh Hoa's Muong Lat District. During the war against the French (1946-54), together with his comrades, Anh brought fame and reputation to the guerrilla group which served Tay Tien soldiers.

Poong Hamlet was a remote place back then, covered in forest, with only a few households. Most residents belonged to the Thai ethnic minority group.

"During 1951-52, when Regiment Tay Tien (Advance West) rushed to the hamlet to garrison troops in Muong Lat area, I was just thirteen. Instead of staying with local people, the soldiers lived separately in tents in the forest. By doing so, they could avoid detection by the French forces or their agents," Anh recalls.

"Although they live far from the people, they have a strong connection with us. At first, we felt strange about this. But then we began to love them like our own fathers, uncles and olders brothers. They taught us the Vietnamese alphabet and songs."

Hurriedly pouring a cup of tea for his guests, he continues the story: "Seeing me so healthy and energetic, they assigned me to the liaison mission. In 1953, I was admitted to the Tay Tien guerrillas group, consisting of 22 members from Thanh Hoa. Every day, I carried letters to Regiment Tay Tien from all around Muong Lat to the neighbouring province of Hua Phan in Laos.

The teenager often travelled to the mountains 15km from his home to carry the messages.

"I was told if the enemy asked me where I was headed, I should say I was going to visit my relatives," say Anh. "The secret messages I delivered to the resistance fighters were hidden in my pocket, sewed carefully into a special coat. So I was never caught."

Proud revolutionary: Luong Chi Anh says he was born for the mission and he is honoured to have been a part of it.

Although Anh had to cross many mountains and rivers, he consistently delivered the messages to the right address. Then he was assigned to do liaison work every three days, exchanging information with the Tay Tien soldiers in the area.

Carrying a sharp knife to protect himself when needed, Anh always left in the early morning and got home late at night.

"Every trip usually lasted from dawn to dusk. Many times, it rained hard and I had to cover myself with leaves to prevent the messages from getting wet. I was full of energy in those days, so I walked very fast," he says.

In 1953, when the French force withdrew from the village, a new administration unit was formed. Yet the Tay Tien guerilla group remained at Poong Hamlet. However, Anh did not wish to rest yet. He volunteered to bring literacy to the people in the hamlet. All the information Anh learnt from the soldiers of Regiment Tay Tien, the ethnic Thai man passed on to local people in Tam Chung Hamlet.

After finishing his mission, Anh continued to work as an official of Tam Chung Hamlet.

"Many people thanked me for bringing the light of revolution to every household. I think I was born for this mission and I am very honoured to have been a part of it," says Anh. — VNS

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