Their good deeds have deeply been engraved in the minds of local ethnic minority people.

Dang Van Quyen was enlisted into Regiment 92, Division 337, Military Region 4 when he was 19. In May 1999, Defense-Economic Unit 92 was established on the basis of Regiment 92 and tasked with building A So defense-economic area. Private First Class Dang Van Quyen and other members of Unit 92 embarked on building the unit in the middle of A So valley.

Troops from Defense-Economic Unit 92 help local re-roof the house after a whirlwind.

Private First Class Dang Van Quyen, now a non-commissioned senior captain and a member of the Administrative Sub-Division of Unit 92, still remembers the first days he set foot in A So where locals could only use surface water, not underground water, for daily activities because the water source here was highly contaminated with dioxin. Every day, Quyen, his comrades, and locals had to travel many kilometers to small streams to collect water in cans for cooking and bathing.

Quyen recalled that his unit encountered numerous difficulties. Locals lived in temporary houses built in the middle of vast mountains and forests. No electricity was there. Roads were hard to travel. Heavy rains lasted for weeks. However, all members of the unit were well aware of their tasks, showed high determination to be close to the locals, the village, and tried their best to raise locals’ awareness of the Party's guidelines and policies, the State's laws, and encourage them to gradually eliminate bad customs. 

Therefore, together with building new barracks, the unit has successfully boosted relations with local people, helping them eliminate hunger, illiteracy, shortage of information, medicines, and clean water.

Non-commissioned Major Le Thanh Lich, a member of the vehicle and machinery team, said that troops of the unit directly gave instructions to locals from the smallest things such as building barns to raise livestock and poultry to encouraging them to cook food, drink boiled water, and do family planning.

“Information dissemination was not easy because many bad customs were deeply engraved in the thinking of locals,” said Lich. However, “small rain lays great dust,” thanks to the unit’s persistence in information dissemination, local people's thought and actions are now positively changed. 

For Non-commissioned Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Quoc Hoan, a member of the Staff and Planning Division, supporting compatriots is the sentiment and responsibility of every serviceman.

Hoan’s home is some 400km from the unit, so he only visits his family once a year. His wife looked after his parents and children. In 2003 and 2018, his parents passed away one after another, and he was unable to return in time to meet them. Talking about his work, Hoan said that people in the border areas face many difficulties, thus his unit and he have exerted even more efforts to overcome hardships, guide them on how to grow crops, raise livestock, and gradually escape poverty. “That is both a soldier’s duty, sentiment, and responsibility.”

According to Vice Chairman of A Luoi district People's Committee Nguyen Van Hai, generations of personnel of Defense-Economic Unit 92 have always stood side-by-side with local party committee, authorities, and people to develop local socio-economy and achieve encouraging results. They have braced harsh weather conditions, surmounted hardships, helped people prevent natural disasters and overcome their consequences, eradicate hunger, reduce poverty, build new-style rural areas, among others, deserving to be Uncle Ho's soldiers.

Translated by Mai Huong