HA NOI (VNS)— The fifth congress of the Viet Nam War Veterans Association opened in the capital city yesterday with the presence of Nguyen Phu Trong, Party General Secretary and Secretary of the Central Military Commission, President Truong Tan Sang and other senior party and government officials.
"The association has maintained the precious traditions of Uncle Ho's soldiers, exhibited their political capabilities and followed the path charted by the Party and President Ho Chi Minh," said Tran Hanh, Lieutenant General and Chairman of the association. "It is a reliable mainstay of the Party, State and people."
In the past five years, the association used nearly VND 17,000 billion (US$809.5 million) from credits, as well as billions of dong raised by war veterans, to develop the economy, generating jobs for nearly a million people, General Hanh said. The association also built about 30,000 new houses for poor veterans' families.
"We're very proud to say that more than 5,500 small and medium enterprises, 1,143 co-operatives, 4,900 collectives and 35,000 small farms nationwide are run by war veterans," Hanh said.
Turning to the association's goals for the next five years (2012-2017), Hanh pledged to continue to serve as the mainstay of the Party and State, the socialist regime and the people.
"In the next five years we'll try to increase membership to between 85-90 per cent of all war veterans nation-wide and decrease the number of poor veteran households by 2-2.5 per cent/annually," he said.
In his remarks, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong asked the association to remember its most important task: to defend the fruits of the revolution and actively participate in building and defending the Party, the State, the socialist regime and the great national unity.
"A very important task that the Party and State has assigned to the association is to educate the young generation and the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union about patriotism and heroism," Trong said.
He wanted to see more war veterans become role models in economic development and be champions in extending support to their less fortunate countrymen, helping them escape poverty and maintain sustainable livelihoods.
Trong urged the war veterans to be pro-active in making the Party and the State stronger.
On this occasion, on behalf of the Party and State, President Truong Tan Sang presented the Ho Chi Minh Order Award to the Viet Nam War Veterans Association — VNS