Martyr's wife carries on husband's military legacy

March 04, 2023 - 09:58
In 2011, Tòng Thị Khong joined the military herself, donning the memories and mission her husband left behind.


Officers of the Chiềng On Border Guard reciting their mission before patrol. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức

SƠN LA — In the peaceful house built by her husband's comrades in Chiềng An, Sơn La, Captain Tòng Thị Khong silently stood before her husband's altar.

On the altar, red incense burned in front of the photo of Captain Lù Công Thắng, a martyr who was a deputy detective of the Sơn La Border Guard and fought against drugs and crime on the border in 2010.

Looking at her husband's photo, the eyes of the Thai ethnic woman turned red. Khong recounted how she met Thắng when he was in his final year at the Border Guard University, which is now the Border Guard Academy.

In 2003, they got married. She knew being a military wife, especially a border guard's wife, would bring many difficulties, hardships, and dangers, but love and empathy helped Khong overcome all.

Their son, Lù Công Hiếu, was born a year later, and the young couple became even happier. But it wasn't until their son was five months old that Captain Thắng saw his son's face. Shortly after returning home, he left again for work.

"My husband could only take one or two days off because the situation was very complex in Mường Lang (Phù Yên), where he was stationed, with a lot of drug-related issues. It's even more dangerous during his work. So I had to try my best (raising my son on my own)," said Khong.

On the afternoon of July 31, 2010, Khong received a call from her sister-in-law.

"Khong, the agency just called. Thắng died."

Khong was in shock and couldn't believe what she was hearing. She cried out: "No, it cannot be him."

Khong went to her husband's unit.

Sat beside her husband's body, her heart turned to stone. She couldn't cry anymore. Looking at the bullet holes and blood on his body, she was speechless.

"At that time, I felt like my feet were unsteady. My mind was spinning, and I couldn't think of anything else," recalled Khong, choking back tears.

His comrades recalled the day Thắng died. A group of armed drug traffickers were expected to transport drugs across the border from Laos to the village of Đin Chí, Chiềng Tương, Yên Châu.

This group was an important link in the trafficking and transportation of narcotics along the 'drug route' in the northwest border region.

To break this chain, Lù Công Thắng and eight border guards were assigned to operation 114L, lying in wait until noon for the group carrying the new shipment to appear.

When they fell into an ambush, the border guards quickly subdued and captured the most important target.

Taking advantage of the confusion, two individuals ran towards the other side of the border and fired shots towards the pursuing forces. Nine bullets pierced Lù Công Thắng's body, who died in his comrades' arms.

Holding letters that had faded with time, Tòng Thị Khong shed tears reminiscing about the beautiful memories of her beloved husband.

She slowly recounted how Lù Công Thắng wrote his letters from the time when they were dating. He continued to do so after they married when he was stationed on the border.

In one letter, he said he wanted her to be a teacher, and that she should take care of herself while he took care of the family.

“Thắng often shared with me his love for his military career," recalled the Thai ethnic woman. "From those stories, I understood and supported his path. Though it was dangerous and full of obstacles, it brought peace to the border area and the people's lives."

In 2011, Tòng Thị Khong joined the military herself, donning the memories and mission her husband left behind.

“My son Hiếu has told me several times that he wants to fulfil his father's unfinished dream of maintaining the peace and preventing the horrors of drugs destroying families on the border. This year, he is preparing to follow the military path," Khong shared. — VNS