A group of former U.S. soldiers, hoping to "deliver an olive branch of peace," have begun to build a medical clinic in rural Vietnam, information received Thursday from the veterans said.

Although a number of veterans groups have returned to Vietnam, the clinic at Vung Tau in southern Vietnam is the first known development effort by former U.S. servicemen.A news release from the Veterans-Vietnam Restoration Project said a groundbreaking ceremony for the 10-room facility occurred Saturday with veterans Ruben Gomez and Gordon Smith and Vietnamese medical official Dr. Nguyen van Rep taking part.

Plans call for a dozen veterans, who include carpenters, electricians and architects, to spend about 10 weeks building the clinic with their own hands.