Sunday, December 4, 2011

Deceit of Party Leaders in Vietnam Today

Vietnam News 12/4/11 reported Party Secretary Trong as saying, "he appreciated the group's effective support and co-operation in economic development, especially in projects of hunger elimination and poverty reduction." A Reuters article dated 9/6/11 discusses how the propaganda of Vietnam officials states the opposite. 

The Communists weave a tissue of lies on Vietnam News to trick the world into believing they are trying to help their indigent masses. 

Reuters states, "Across Asia, capital inflows have been driving prices higher while in Vietnam, rapid credit growth and wasteful spending by state-owned companies lies at the root of the problem." See the direct contrast in these quotes? Communism alive and well and frighteningly deceitful to the people of Vietnam.

Vietnam News

I beg all countries to boycott Vietnam for travel, an economic sanction that would mean something to the government. Perhaps officials would recognize their human rights violations are not going unnoticed, they cannot hide behind a blanket of deceit.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

USU aids deaf children in South Vietnam

USU aids deaf children in South Vietnam

This is great article that makes me sad to read. I'm so glad Americans are supporting medical needs to oppressed Southerners, but why is the government so ineffective, the one that said they stood up for the little guy, in taking care of special needs? No educated teachers for hearing impaired? In 2011 while so many rich feast on exotic snakes! Thanks for telling of you service in a month-long mission. This is truly amazing for a university to invest in. It speaks well for Utah State University and for all the students involved.
Southerners left behind and in fear of reprisals daily still think of the area they live as South Vietnam. In the article, the author refers to South Vietnam as an area. A commenter stated there has been no South Vietnam since 1975. It was actually 1976. Calling the section South Vietnam distinguishes where the trip focused, the place where there would be most need due to government neglect.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

St. Pius X Dallas, A Light at the End of the Evil, Dark Tunnel

My two sisters and myself attended a mass celebrated at St. Pius X church in Dallas. This was a usual 5 o'clock mass on Sat. but this mass was especially to celebrate the 65 year anniversary
of Monsignor Weinzapel  who has served the Catholic church.

The church was packed with people, and I am sure most of those lived in this community just like I have and now come back to honor him.  Among all the highlighted services of his life, one was in 1975 when he sponsored many Vietnamese families who fled Viet Nam and came to find new life here in Texas. 

Sitting in church, looking at him up on the altar, he had aged quiet a bit, but yet I can still feel the compassion, kindness in him. The way he carried himself had not changed from what I remember of him when I first met him in 1975.  I have visited St. Pius X church often. Since I stay with my mom on Saturday nights, I sometimes attend mass here on Sunday but today, seeing Monsignor brought back many tender memories:  how lost we were, how we missed home, and how we had tried to fit  into this new life.  

Memories that brought tears to my eyes of how kind these people were; even though, they did not know us nor did they speak the same language. Looking at Monsignor and seeing how old he is made me realize how long it has been since I first came to this church 36 years ago.  My family will forever be grateful to the Catholic diocese, St. Pius church and its community and especially to Monsignor Weinzapel.

I just wanted to write this to show our appreciation to him, wishing him well and  pray that he may live many more years, so he can continue to serve god and for me to have a chance to remember that the earth
still have good, kind heart people out there.  I won't forget what he did for us, and I will try to help others
if I am needed and able to.

Thank you, Sir

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

During the war I didn't spend much time with my dad because of his intense involvement in it. My father was town manager of Bong Son and later a Senator when we moved to Qui Nhon. That's why I valued and appreciated each time he was able to come home (he slept in the town hall each night where he worked to evade guerilla nighttime gunfire) and spend time with me. Whenever I saw his jeep or his little motorcycle come into the front yard of our home, no matter where I was or how much fun I was having with my friends, I would always run home to greet him.  I liked to see his smile brighten up when he saw me. To me, my father had the sweetest smile, a beautiful one. His smile was so sweet and tender, and yet his eyes were so strict and full of authority. But that is what I liked about my father.  He was so manly and his heart was so kind.

It's Father's Day, and  I just happen to remember his kind face and miss him.  I hope all of our children of the world will find that same love within their hearts toward their parents, for I don't think anybody
on this earth loves us more than our parents love us.  Appreciate, cherish and grow with it.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day Comes after "Black April"

The Vietnamese people fled the country during and after 1975 because of the invasion from the north, so we made the month of April  "Black April".  No matter where we are in the world, April is a mourning month for us.  The last day of the month: April 30th is the day we all get together at the community where we live to remember, to mourn, pray, appreciate and reflect.  This year is no different;  I came to the site where we have the memorial ceremony.  The sight of my beloved Freedom Flags and the songs people were singing brought tears to my eyes.  A chilling sensation runs through my body whenever I hear these songs and see these flags.

I think there were more young people attending this year.  This moved me so much, for I always hope that the next generation will realize the importance of their involvement in the fight for our Viet Nam and its true freedom.  For the people of Viet Nam one day will have rights and happiness, and also one day we all would be able to go back and rebuild our country.

In remembering the saddest day of our lives, I would like to join my people everywhere in mourning, saluting and praying for all the soldiers, people who have died for my country and because of my country. This includes my dad and my mom for all their sacrifices in their life for my safety.

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vietnam Today

The Viet Nam War ended on April 30, 1975.  There was no more gunfire, and all of remaining soldiers returned home. Though my family faced retribution if we returned, we prayed other families, not so outwardly involved in fighting against communism, would be safe. Viet Nam would be reunited. The North and the South would rebuild the country. We hoped and prayed from America that our cherished Viet Nam would finally have peace.
That's what we all thought when the ceasefire was called. When the North soldier's came into Sai Gon, our beloved capital of the South, they did not bring peace. Instead there were more tears shed.
Our soldiers did not get to come home to their families.  They were all sent away to what that the North called rehabilitation camps, but they were in fact prisons. Our soldiers were tortured physically and mentally and many died.  The few that survived the torrent of abuse were sent home many years later in such a sickened state they were unable to continue a normal life.
My family was one of the lucky ones that left Viet Nam on April 30, 1975.  That day brought many of us dreams, hope for a better future that would never come. That day in history brought Viet Nam into turmoil, agony, pain, and suffering. Even today, thirty-five years later, my people are still suffering.            
I grew up during the war, young, but old enough to see what my country went through and what had become of my Viet Nam.  I had good parents.  I learned from my mom to be independent, competent and yet retain a kind heart because during wartime. My father was seldom home.  She was responsible for both the mom and dad roles.  I learned from my dad to be strong, righteous, caring, respectful, and to love all people. 
Today, I try to teach my children about my Viet Nam and their grandparents.  My children were born in the United States and have not had a chance to visit their mother's land.  That's why I am trying to teach them the good and bad of the United States and Viet Nam.  I want the to keep the good things from Viet Nam's culture and value the good qualities from American culture, using both to grow.  I pray that my children will see the good in Viet Nam in their lifetime if it's at all possible. 
I love my Viet Nam with all my being, and I want my children to love it too. I hope one day they will visit a Viet Nam with true peace, freedom, and happiness. I love and appreciate America, a country that saved and sheltered my family and my people, a country that gave us freedom and opportunities to survive and achieve success.  America became my second country, a country I learned to love and cherish for as long as I live.
But still the North spreads propaganda throughout the land and persecutes the Viet Kieu, or Southerners who fought for freedom from the North.  Tourism websites offer trips to my country stating that Viet Nam is a great place to live and visit. But in contrast, horrors or violence still occur in my land. Southerners are still oppressed by the government. For example, a friend of mine returned home to visit Viet Nam for the Tet celebration in January 2011. As he ate lunch in an open-air café, a woman who had vended him food from her cart stepped out into the street. A car raced toward her. She couldn’t get out of the way fast enough. My friend watched frozen in shock as the vehicle hit the woman, knocking her down, spilling her blood, and leaving her struggling for breath on the ground, her legs and arms splayed unnaturally at odd angles. Communist officials came over to my friend as he bent over the woman.
“Leave her. Go off from here,” the police officer yelled.
The car, that had struck her, screeched to a halt. The driver jumped from the driver’s seat into the street. He began screaming.
As he stood over the dying woman he screamed, “You stupid cow! It was your fault!”
After he had driven off, the police spoke to my friend again, who still watched, shaking his head from side to side.
“That man is an official’s son. You can do nothing. Go from here and never speak of this again.”
The woman groaned and let out one last labored breath and died.
To justify acts like these, Northerners have always condemned Southerners for unsupported accusations.  According to Tal Tovoy's case study entitled "Peasants and Revolutionary Movements," Viet Cong propaganda has depicted the South Vietnamese government as a “political body opposed to Vietnamese unification." Tovoy states the initial struggle against the South Vietnamese instituted by the communist North was to rebel against large landholders and to offer a "provision of land to the peasantry."
But according to Ron Gluckman in 1990, an American reporter stationed in Sai Gon, "Legislation passed last year authorizes Viet Kieu to purchase property in Ho Chi Minh." Viet Kieu were not given freedom to live as other Viet Namese. If Viet Kieu were not allowed to purchase land, this is in direct contrast to the North’s pretense that they offered unity and offered all people equal opportunity.
Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, was exiled to France from Viet Nam in 1966 for his writing and demonstration against the North for South Viet Namese suffering violence at the hands of communists. Martin Luther King Jr. nominated Hanh for a Novel Peace Prize in 1967. Hanh could not return to Viet Nam for a visit until 2005.
Yet North propaganda states, “Solidarity for a better world.”  According to a 2010 Vietnam Bulletin report for the Vietnam Daily News, farmer peasants in the country do not even have refrigerators, while rich government officials in town live extravagantly.
Andrew Lam writes in Nation of Ly Van Nguyen, on trial in Vietnam in 2007 for spreading propaganda against the communist government, “During the trial on March 30, Father Ly Nguyen's mouth was physically muzzled after he recited four lines of his own poetry.” The father’s poetry was about freedom from oppression, freedom from violence, the freedom the North says they seek.
“All houses are happy,” communists post around Viet Namese cities and towns. “Tomorrow starts today.”  But in actuality there is no freedom and many families have loved ones in prison. “In mid1985, the Hanoi government conceded that it still held about 10,000 inmates in the reeducation camps, but the actual number was believed to be at least 40,000.” (
By writing my memoir, I hope to show mainly the wonderful family I had growing up in Viet Nam when it was still a free country. We weren’t so different from Americans. In addition, I wanted to reveal what the war was really like for a Viet Kieu like myself, whose family was passionately patriotic and fought for the South’s freedom alongside Americans. It is my hope and prayer that readers take away a greater understanding of what the country was and what it could become again. The more who become aware and bring the truth to light, the more likely the Viet Namese people will achieve freedom in the future.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Muc: My Dog, My Friend

I had a  dog in my childhood years.  His name was Muc 'meaning ink' because his hair color was all black. He followed me everywhere, from the beginning of the village to the end  He even climbed the mountain with me and waited for me at the foot of the tree when I was up on the tree.

My family lived in a small village, almost like a farm area here.  We had mountain, river, brook and not too far there was the beach. We had a pigpen, many chickens and even rabbits, but Muc was my favorite.  He was my best friend.

We liked to run in the rain, sliding down a small dirt hill or to go swim in the river.  My favorite time with him was when we chased after the small yellow chicks and angered their parents so we could get chased by the mommy and daddy chicken.  I did not think Muc was scared of the chickens, but if I ran he would follow me.

I have many  beautiful memories with him but my last one with him was when we played in the flooding water overflowed from the river crawling into our front yard.  He was so happy when we caught crickets coming out from the holes.

That was my last time having fun with my best friend for the water got higher into our home, I was ordered by my mom to go upstairs and Muc was still downstairs enjoy his swimming in the water.  He did not know the current could got stronger and it took him out of my house swirling all the way to the brook  and out of my sight, out of my life.

Chapter 3 of my memoir, Child of Vietnam, is published in Kartika Review.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tribute to My Uncle

I want to tribute my uncle who passed away now six years ago. He and my father were close, both in politics, both elected to senate positions but in different cities in Viet nam. All of this was before the Viet Nam War. When my family moved here, my father left his political life behind and devoted himself to family. My uncle, though, moved to California, where there were more Vietnamese people, and became a political activist for South Viet Nam.

My uncle attended as many protest as he could with the Vietnamese community in California.  He also had a time slot in a Vietnamese Radio Broadcast where he tried to educate people how bad communist ways are.

My uncle became sick, but he still went on to this one particular protest, which turned out to be his last
one. His illness grew worse that day, for he was standing in the rain and cold.  He passed away
after about three weeks later after battling pneumonia.  Since our dad passed a way nine months before that date, our uncle became our father and six years ago, we lost him, too.

All of us siblings  rushed to California for his funeral.  To my surprise and amazement, at his wake, as I saw him lying there, but we heard his voice from his radio broadcast throughout the funeral chapel.  So many of his colleagues came to pay respects. The final respect for him was at the burial, to see a Vietnamese Freedom Flag covered his coffin, the gun shots, the salutes and the handing of the flag to his wife.  I was so proud of him, I was crying, for I had lost an uncle, but also I cried for my country to have lost another fighting soldier.

All these years, I thought my father had no longer involve in politics, but I was wrong, he was still involved, only in his own way. He talked with my uncle everyday and gave him advice.
Together, they still fought for Viet nam, and no they are both gone, I am sure there are many many
more Vietnamese out there who still carry on the battle, hoping one day we can all come back
to a country, free of communism.

My father and my uncle had always said, they wished to live long
enough, so they would one day set foot on our motherland again. But that did not happen. Perhaps
that will happen in my lifetime.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vietnam's Jungle Law: A Sad Story

I apologize for not writing anything on my blog for a while.  This past Thursday, we celebrated our Vietnamese New Year.  I remember in Viet Nam, New Year's Day was a huge deal for all of us. We came together like a family no other time of year.  Tet is celebrated like a birthday for everybody, no matter where family is, each will try to come home at all costs.  The younger ones wish the best wishes to the elderly relatives and in return we will receive wishes from them and also a little red bag containing of money.  In Vietnam my mom and sisters decorated our home with all kinds of exotic flowers and hard to find fruits.  As a catholic, we went to church to thank God for the old year and pray for the new year.

Here in the United States, now we also attend church to give thanks and prayers at New Year's.  We cling to the customs as we had in Viet Nam, but I know it is not the same. Somehow there is always an aching feeling inside of me knowing that I am so far away from "home".

New Year's I should talk about happy things, but there is a story that I just heard from one of my friends returning from visiting his family in Vietnam last month.  This story has haunted me for days and I would like to share with you since we all live in such a safe and privileged country. We don't hear about what is really happening back home.  I often say Viet Nam has no law or their law to me is 'jungle law'.  This story will let you understand why I said such thing.

My friend was sitting at an eatery on the street of Saigon.  He bought some breakfast from a middle-aged woman who was selling food from her cart.  After selling him the package, she pushed her cart across the street. An SUV come charging down the street and hit her. Her body was on the street gushing blood.  My friend said he tried to run over to help. Some police officers held him back so he wouldn't be run over in the street.  People crowded around the streets but no one cared to help or  each was afraid to help.  Just then a young man from the SUV jumped out, stood over the dying lady cursing, blaming her for not watching where she was going. Then he got back into his car and sped off.  Throughout this entire episode, my friend said he used his camera trying to tape the tragedy, but again the police snatched it and also made him leave the area. He was wondering why, and they told him the driver was one of the high official's son. My friend left the country with frustration, disgusted, and he has been haunted with this sight forever.

For those who have gone to visit Vietnam as a tourist or who as child returned to visit the motherland, I have heard many of them say positive things about the country.  I wonder if it is the material things they see.  Where are the rights for my people?  I am sure all they see are the lavish, tall beautiful buildings, hotels...the facade of Vietnam.  I hope they will look deeper into the heart of my people. There they will see the sorrow, agonies, fright, anger that the communist government is trying to hide from the world.  Viet Nam has NO law. Any law now is "jungle law" to me.  I am sure with all my heart that my people were happier and even safer during war time than after the war ended, and there were supposed to be peace in Viet Nam.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Please respond to the beginning of the memoir in progress.


            At seven years old, my 1970’s Việt Nam was a breathtakingly beautiful land full of excitement and danger; a land of poisonous snakes, killer floods, and terrifying accidents. But it was also a place of adventure and delight, of exploration on the mountain and in the neighboring villages, climbing mango trees and picking acai berries, canoeing in the brook and crabbing, playing any and every game imaginable. Oh, yes, and by the way, it was a place where a war was going on. My mother, watched us arrive home plastered in mud or emerge from mists of tear gas, and folded us in her arms rejoicing in our miraculous, continued wellbeing. She knew we were surrounded by danger, so she trained us rather than chaining us.
My father struggled to save the world one child at a time by adopting Việt Cộng[1] spies and an orphaned boy, who years later turned traitor, a victim of communist brainwashing. Above all, we led as normal a life as possible amid battling artillery right outside the windows of our home.  My father, city manager and an important man, commanded our family before he died to tell people he was a good father
. Family always came first for him and then country. My father was humble about his public service.
I chose to write this memoir in tribute to what South Việt Nam once was, and also, to honor my parents, who planned and provided for my lucky escape from the horrors of the Việt Nam War that was fought on my front doorstep.

[1] The Việt Cộng (VC) are the Northern Communists who fought the Americans in the Việt Nam War.