Patriots Point symposium to feature secret use of tribespeople in Vietnam

Patriots Point symposium to feature secret use of tribespeople in Vietnam

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Patriots Point will host a symposium Friday evening to discuss the Green Berets' secret use of tribespeople known as Montagnards during the Vietnam War to combat the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, in the Smokey Stover Theater onboard the USS YORKTOWN.

A panel including both Green Beret and Montagnard veterans will address the relationship between the groups, and elaborate on specific stories in which the Montagnard people demonstrated loyalty, bravery, and courage while fighting beside American troops.

The Green Beret trained more than 60,000 Montagnards to use modern weapons and techniques during the war, fortifying the bond between the two groups.

The Green Berets admired the toughness and tenacity of the people.

"These tribe people who didn't wear pants or shoes, were given rifles and grenades," said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette. "The Montagnards wouldn't have been able to pass an Army physical and join the war, yet they were asked to give everything in the fight against the Communist North. We want to help tell their stories and what they experienced after the war ended.  Their loyalty was uncommon in the annals of American warfare and continues to this day."

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