On Return to Vietnam, War Vet John Kerry Says His Dark Memories Of War Don't 'Imprison' Him

Kerry reflects on fighting in the Mekong Delta during his first trip back since the Vietnam War.
3:00 | 12/16/13

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Transcript for On Return to Vietnam, War Vet John Kerry Says His Dark Memories Of War Don't 'Imprison' Him
-- Welcome to a special edition of on the radar for ABC news and Yahoo! News. -- Martha Raddatz in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. We came here to talk to the secretary of state John Kerry who has a long relationship with his country one that started 45 years ago. In the middle of -- war. We're sitting in Ho Chi Minh City. -- -- Vietnam War veteran. And an anti war activist. How much of your world view comes from your time and. Well obviously some of that but one -- -- very careful -- -- see everything through the lens of Vietnam that would be huge mistake it's informative. But it doesn't imprisoned maintenance -- -- doesn't dominate me. -- -- -- -- -- It's. And pregnant where it's. I want to ask you know best and your memories and make and take. -- -- -- -- Incredible. Team the work of those people who -- with -- on the boat was just this incredible bonded team of people all of whom -- This is facing the same. Dangers and so forth what I really remember about it when is this sense of everybody's commitment. Doing their job getting things -- working together. Effectively. And obviously it was exciting. Sperry and exhilarating it. All kinds of -- that is all kinds of things -- same time. I've been reading through. Tours of duty and threw a lot of your -- letter she wrote home. Lot of year old war journals. And you saw a lot of death. We also took a man's life do you think about it. Yeah sometimes sir. That you're inevitably -- get stuck there. Just. -- -- refused to get stuck there I've -- purposeful decision. It happened -- what it was we're in a war. It ended and my goal but in the future -- -- -- How -- we take that and make something better. -- Catholic. Talked about the Vietnam War. Really shaking your life. How did you get that back she went to -- this weekend here is achievements as -- You know at -- -- at a certain point in time did did and I just thought about it a lot I think I have a sort of epiphany moment where it just occurred -- me. That there still is a purpose. And God's work that. Defines itself sometimes differently from the -- this one might superficially things. You read the letters of Saint Paul and you read. Other parts of the scripture that talks about suffering and it talks about adversity. You know I sort of began to put that in a better place not -- -- so much as. You know determined of god two. Makes every decision for happens but rather. Creates a framework within which were responsible for making things up. I think one of the things particular for me who who deals with a lot of veterans. Is. I look at somebody like you who described the exact same things -- seeing now anger bitterness at that time how did you move on how did you how did you put. -- spent some time protesting the war. Now we -- the vacuum of leadership in this country as a -- A lot of people didn't like obviously in -- -- sides put some of that energy into. Trying to end the war but once -- -- -- fighting had ended and America was out of Vietnam. Then. I felt there was something more we have to do. We wanted to get to the day when we could say the word yet -- people would think about a country. Not a war. And that's where we are today I think it's very exciting. You know I don't think about the war being here right now I'm occasionally I see a place is remember that -- -- -- You don't you think about this vibrant. Energized. Country and that makes me feel that that's the future. That's all for this edition of on the radar from Vietnam. Where ABC news -- Yahoo! News I'm Martha Raddatz. You can follow me on Twitter at Martha Raddatz. Have a great day.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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