Providing for the benefit of the impoverished, politically endangered, physically or mentally handicapped, or otherwise segregated social victims within the countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Click on play button on right side video to begin presentation.  Henry E. Topf Jr., receives a Purple Heart award for a mission in Viet Nam, circa 1965, for heroism in the line of duty, recently declassified.  Senator John McCain, R-AZ, presented Mr. Topf Jr. with the medal in a ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, February 15, 2005 at the Russell Senate Building in Washington, DC.



In 1963 as a patriotic military professional working for two years in what, at that time, was one of our nation's most secret Military/CIA operations. My relationship with the Vietnamese people began. I worked with the 4080th STRAT Wing. We were a special operations wing of the Strategic Air Command of the United States Air Force responsible for all U-2 reconnaissance and intelligence gathering throughout the world. We reported directly to the President of the United States John F. Kennedy. This was an exciting time for a young military professional, as you might imagine.

With the downing of a U-2 and the unfolding of the Cuban Crisis our secret was no secret any more. The U-2s were hidden in Arizona and we were reassigned around the world.

I was sent to Olmstead Air Force Base in Pennsylvania and asked by the Department of Defense to consider volunteering as an advisor to an undeclared war in Vietnam. As a patriotic American and a professional military person I did answer the call of my President. By the time I was assigned, President Kennedy had been assassinated. I had made my choice however, and was committed. When I arrived in Vietnam there were only 15,000 Americans in the country, including civilian, government employees and their dependents.

I came back from Vietnam in 1966, all grown up and no longer naïve. I had been wounded and otherwise misused to the point I was discharged as a highly decorated military person. I felt I had no further value as a soldier. Now back with my family we picked up with our life and moved on, always proud of my military and other service to my country. Over the years I have always held the people of Southeast Asia in high regard and knew that they were victimized by the Chinese, the French, the Russians and, unfortunately, by the US and their own government.

I was fortunate to have been in Vietnam at the beginning and, forced to live with the people, I came to understand them and their culture. I lived in the Delta and Cambodia throughout my time in Vietnam.

I was alone and dependent on the villagers and country people for my food, my shelter, and my life every minute. We lived together in their bamboo and thatch homes, I played with their children, celebrated the good things and mourned their losses. I know what they lost, the sacrifices they made and are still making today. They need your (our) help and deserve it. And so “Vietnam Poverty Relief” was formed.

Everyone needs to know and understand that the Vietnam Poverty Relief mission is all about the people of Indo Asia not about politics. The people have been pawns, they have been used, misused, beat up, beat down, starved, killed and left as a broken puzzle with some of the pieces missing, families torn apart and scattered around the world. Parents separated from children with no way to reunite or communicate.

I hope you will join me in the awesome task of helping rebuild.

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