back to the nam
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from tours of duty to tours of healing
For combat veteran Bill Braniff, repeatedly visiting Vietnam and befriending former enemies has helped to soothe the emotional and physical wounds of war. Bill had a vision to help other veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by arranging trips to Vietnam to confront the demons that many still struggle with. This vision has resulted in Back to Nam, an organization hoping to become a nonprofit looking for sponsors to help all those affected by the war in Vietnam: former veterans, the children of veterans and widows of servicemen.

Bill's Story

Bill Braniff was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada on November 15, 1944. Both of Bill's parents were in the Canadian Army during WWII. Bill attended Eastwood Collegiate, and was involved with the Army Cadets, Air Cadets and Canadian Army Militia. Bill still carries a green card to this day and considers himself proudly, a Niagara River Web Back.

Bill has been married for over 41 years to Margaret, and has three grown children whom were all born in Canada, but have dual citizenship. Bill and his wife live in Bucksport, Maine.

Vietnam Service
Enlisted in US ARMY JULY 1966, ETS'd IN JULY 1969. Sent to Vietnam on January 23, 1968. Bill served as AMMO BEARER, RTO, AND SQUAD LEADER IN ALPHA COMPANY, 2/12TH INF 25TH DIVISION. WAS ONE OF TWO COMPANY TUNNEL RATS. Bill had a short tour due to medical problems.
BILL RECIEVED FOR HIS SERVICE, THE CIB, BRONZE STAR AND ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL.

a widows journey back to nam

"When I heard there was a chance for me to go where my Mike was when he was killed I wondered how I could and why would I want to go.  The thought would not go away, so I told Bill I wanted to go.  He was so surprised – because he had never taken a widow.  

Mike and I were only married 2 years to the day when he was killed and I wanted to see what he saw and walk on some of the earth he had walked on." Click to read more

Click here to read more about Bill Braniff. The Maine Edge also featured Bill as their cover story for Veteran's Day 2009. Click here to read.

The Bangor Daily News wrote an article about Bill that is an excellent synopsis of Bill and the affects of PTSD. Here is a letter that Bill wrote about some of his memories and his trip with Patty Randall back to Vietnam to retrace where her husband had died in combat.

READ A TESTIMONIAL about one of Bill's journey back to Vietnam with one Vet.

A NOTE FROM BILL
Returning to Vietnam is more than a healing experience for Veterans, it is a trip taking you around the countryside, visiting with former adversaries, seeing the natural beauty of a land that was involved in war for probably over 2,000 years. Imagine America fighting off one adversary after another for 2,000 years.  Then when you return to Vietnam, you look at the faces of a people that are finally content for the first time in centuries.
 
The first thing you see are the smiles of the children, then the serene look of the elders..people now our age! Yes it is true..we now look like our fathers  from WWII. You will travel through a fairy tale countryside of Buddhist Temples, mountainous terrain, narrow roads, buffalo driven carts, modern busses, trucks, untold numbers of motor bikes, scenery that looks like it stepped out of a tourist brochure. Reserved for you to reminisce, to envision the beauty of Vietnam that was almost impossible to see on your tour of duty there in the 60's and 70's. People from indigenous tribes from the mountains to city folks and villagers, all eager to see you and welcome you to a place that haunted you in your nightmares that never really existed after 1975!
 
Back to The Nam tours are custom made for each individual. Essentially it is what I fondly call my "No Star Tour".. but it can be arranged for each individual taste and budget. When we travel, we stay at non de script hotels that are clean, air conditioned and friendly. However if have a specific itinerary and have a larger budget, I can arrange that trip for you also... but everyone that goes on the 'Back to the Nam' tour is in for a first class experience in reality and fun and healing!
 
This tour is for ALL Vets, family, friends, students of all ages and historians of our pages in history.. the War in Vietnam. Thanks for your attention. Bill Braniff, Infantryman 2/12th Infantry, 25th Division Vietnam, 1968
what back to nam needs
We need Veteran organizations to help us incorporate into a nonprofit, and assist us in spreading the word about our work and the affects of PTSD. The traumatic events that lead to post-traumatic stress disorder are usually so overwhelming and frightening that they would upset anyone.
vietnam war When your sense of safety and trust are shattered, it’s normal to feel disconnected, or numb – and most people do. The only difference between people who go on to develop PTSD and those who don’t is how they cope with the trauma.

After a traumatic experience, the mind and the body are in shock. But as you make sense of what happened and process your emotions, you come out of it. With post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), however, you remain in psychological shock. Your memory of what happened and your feelings about it are disconnected. In order to move on, it’s important to face and feel your memories and emotions.

The trips back to Vietnam have helped the veterans who have faced and felt their memories and emotions. Help us become a reality and help the veterans and their families who cannot afford a trip back to a country that has deeply scarred them. For more information contact Bill Braniff via our contact form.
We are booking now for dates in 2013. Groups of 5 or more are best, but we will try to hook you and your group with others wanting to go back.
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