TWO GI'S PLAY SANTA, SPARK ORPHAN'S YULE FROM THE SOUTHERN CROSS FOR JANUARY 19, 1969.
Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines
DUC PHO — Christmas had a special meaning this year for the 140 children in the Duc Pho orphanage.
Thanks to the efforts of two 11th Bde. soldiers, the custom of yuletide gift giving was introduced into the orphanage in a big way.
SP4 Timothy P. Noland (Salem, Org.), D Co., 3rd Bn, 1st Inf., and SP4 John H. Wetterer (Massapequa, N.Y.) A Co., of the same battalion, worked independently on projects to accumulate gifts for the orphans.
Visit Inspires Ideas
SP4 Noland begun his project after a visit to the orphanage one day. "I was at the laundry in Duc Pho when I began talking to Sister Coletta from the orphanage. She asked me to the orphanage and when I got there the needs were obvious," he said.
That meeting took place months ago. Since then Noland collected hundreds of dollars worth of clothes, blankets, school supplies, powdered milk, and toys.
Help From Mom
His mother, who began the work back in the States received help to buy, package and send the items to Vietnam.
Noland said there was immediate response back home to his idea of helping the orphans.
When he returns to the States shortly, he plans to continue his charitable project.
Toys And Clothes
SP4 Wetterer, a supply clerk for his company, delivered over 700 toys and 300 articles of clothing to the orphans with the help of the Brigade Civil Affairs Section.
He began his work in a way similar to Noland.
"When I saw the orphanage, things were in pretty bad shape," he said.
Bring Christmas Cheer
So with the help of relatives, friends, and neighbors, Wetterer put together a large stockpile of Christmas gifts for the 140 children in Duc Pho.
There wasn't a real Santa Claus to create laughter at the orphanage this year, but the generous efforts of two 11th Bde. soldiers brought a great deal of happiness.
An original copy of this document was donated to the Americal Division Veterans Association (ADVA) by LTC Paul Parham who served as Information Officer for the Americal Division.