War veteran Pham Duc Hanh directs traffic on National Highway 18
Standing in the busy traffic on National Highway 18 in Dong Trieu town, with a bamboo stick, a whistle, and a red band on his arm, war veteran Pham Duc Hanh directs traffic during rush hour every day.
“I do this work for the safety of local people, especially children going home from school during rush hour”, said Mr Hanh.
Hanh spent his youth on battlefields during the nation’s struggles for national independence. In 1976, he was discharged from the army with serious injuries. After witnessing several bad traffic accidents, Hanh decided to do something to keep local people safer on the roads.
“I volunteer to do it for the people. I feel happy when I see the children walking safely to school”, said Hanh.
It may sound odd to work without payment. But it is his sense of responsibility that keeps Hanh faithfully doing his job.
Ms. Hoang Thi Nham who lives in Dong Trieu said “I admire his volunteer spirit and dedication. He has done this work for years without salary”.
What Hanh has received is the respect and support of local people, especially children and their parents.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc is the parent of a 1st grader at Hong Thai Dong primary school. She said “This stretch of road is dangerous. It is wide, so vehicles travel at high speed. I feel better knowing Mr. Hanh í helping the children cross the road”.
Dao Duy Long, a 3rd grader at Hong Thai Dong primary school, said “When I want to cross the road, I stop here until I hear the whistle of Mr. Hanh. He helps us a lot”.