Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, the General Department of Politics of the Vietnam People’s Army, Military Region 5, the Da Nang administration, along with local people came to pay tribute to the deceased who passed away in Athens on June 25, 2021, at the age of 94.

Maj. Gen. Truong Thien To, Deputy Political Commissar of Military Region 5, said Kostas Nguyen Van Lap was born in Greece but he spent his entire youth living and fighting besides his comrades in Vietnam which became his homeland.

Remains of Kostas Sarantidis - Nguyen Van Lap is laid in state at the funeral house of Military Region 5 in Da Nang city on August 2.

The death of the revolutionary soldier has left a great grief to his family, friends, as well as comrades and people in Vietnam. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Party and State have lost an exemplary Uncle Ho's soldier who made huge contribution to the national liberation, construction and defense, To added.

At his and his family's wish, the hero’s remains were brought to Vietnam.

Born in 1927, Kostas Sarantidis - Nguyen Van Lap was forced to serve as a soldier for Nazi Germany in 1943. He was sent to the foreign legion of France after the Second World War ended.

In February 1946, he was brought to Vietnam as a soldier in the French army. However, witnessing the French colonialists’ barbaric crimes against the Vietnamese people and realizing the just nature of the fight against France, in June 1946, he fled from the French army to a liberated area in Binh Thuan province and joined the Viet Minh force in the resistance war. Since then, he became a friend and a comrade of Vietnamese people who called him by the name Kostas Nguyen Van Lap.

He was repeatedly honored by the Vietnamese Party and State, including the first-class Feat-of-Arms Order, the Friendship Order, the third-class Military Exploit Order, and the second-class Resistance Order. In particular, he was granted the Vietnamese nationality in 2010 and then the "Hero of the People’s Armed Forces" title in 2013, becoming the first and only foreigner to be bestowed with this title so far.

After the memorial service, remains of Kostas Sarantidis - Nguyen Van Lap were buried at the war cemetery of Military Region 5 in Da Nang city.

Source: VNA