Out of Vietnam, and Back


MY father, Quang Lam, was a captain in the South Vietnamese Army. He was a helicopter pilot who had been trained in Texas. On April 30, 1975, when Saigon fell, he was able to escape Vietnam and reached the United States. But he was not able to let us know what had happened to him until a year later.

After searching for him, my mother and my siblings — I’m the oldest of two sisters and four brothers — waited at our grandmother’s home, in a fishing village called Nha Trang. To help us survive, my grandmother cooked candy on her stove in the mornings and I would sell it after school in a nearby open market.

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