CULP trip 2013 – Vietnam – Cadet Locci

Joe Locci reports on his trip to Vietnam.  This is one of my favorite stories from this year’s crop.  I’ve known Joe for a few years now.  He comes from a pretty simple, down to earth background.  I know he has never traveled extensively.  I also know he has Veterans in his family.  When he got selected to go to Vietnam I knew it would be a special opportunity for him.  Here is how he described his trip.

CULP 2013 deployed me to Hanoi, Vietnam from 28 June through 20 July. The team`s mission was to foster healthy relations between the U.S. and Vietnam by working with Vietnamese officers through the instruction and communication of the English language. My team of 11 cadets were divided between four separate classes for the first two weeks of our three week deployment. We discussed aspects of our cultures to include things like currency, weather, food, and family with our students and eventually developed impenetrable friendships with our students.

locci vietnam1During weekends and the final week of our deployment to Vietnam my team took the opportunity to culturally immerse ourselves and experience the lifestyle of Vietnamese people. Such immersions included a trip to the sublime area of Ha Long Bay and the luxurious beach of Da Nang.

locci vietnam4

We also toured the DMZ and other historic cites of the Vietnam War such as Khe Sahn Combat Base.

locci vietnam2 We also visited ancient areas such as the Citadel and Imperial City located in Hue, and ruins of My Son.

locci vietnam3We toured various museums and establishments such as the U.S. Embassy and the “Hanoi Hilton”; the POW camp where former Presidential nominee John McCain was imprisoned.

locci vietnam5

Most memorable events would include the whole trip. As I have never traveled outside the U.S. before it was all a first time experience for me that I will never forget. I did enjoy the times spent at Vietnamese restaurants with my fellow cadets eating cuisines that included bizarre foods such as fresh snake or locust. Overall the trip was a success that completely transformed my whole outlook on life. Set ideas and beliefs that I had were totally transformed and reassessed. Too many Americans have no idea how blessed they are just for the fact of being born in the U.S…

Another report from a memorable trip.  It’s almost time for the next batch of Cadets to apply for next Summer’s trips.  Looking forward to their stories.


  1. Cadet Locci,
    You last statmene nailed it. How truly bless we are to have been born in the USA and be a US citizen. Although, I wasn’t deployed to Viet Nam (My best man was), reading you report let me know how my Dad felt when he visted us in Germany.

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