Friday, September 24, 2004

A little history about me

Now that you all know my origins, here's a little story about how I came to this great country.
I was born in Saigon towards the end of the Vietnam War. My father's family were high ranking military officials in South Vietnam. Everyone who was old enough to fight, fought. War is hell, but we knew what was at stake. Our home, our lives, our freedom. When the end was near, we had to leave. We would have been tortured and executed.

When the cease fire was reached, all hell broke loose especially when the communists decided to take advantage of it. My father was a Huey (helicopter) pilot. Most South Vietnamese pilots knew that the end was near. So, they took all available helicopters to try and get their families out. The communists were closing in on Saigon. My father had to fire several rockets at them to clear enough space in order to land and take us away. He landed, jumped out, and screamed for us to get into the helicopter. My uncle told my father that he was assigned to hold his post. My father screamed back at him (in Vietnamese) "It's over! It's over! We've got to leave NOW!" We left with nothing but the clothes on our backs. We took off and headed for the American ships.

When we got to the American ships, my mother remembers the scene. One helicopter would land on the ship, everyone got out, pushed the helicopter overboard and cleared out of the way just as the next helicopter landed. Again, people got out, pushed it overboard, and the next helicopter landed. This was all happening in a matter of seconds while the ship was sailing towards Guam. My family made it safely on the ship. That's when my problems started.

On the ship, I got sick....extremely sick. I was still just a baby. My uncle tried to re-pasteurize some bad milk with a couple of matches. It didn't work. It got to the point where they couldn't tell if I was alive or not. We prepared for a burial at sea. Before I was to be thrown overboard, Guam was in site. They dropped several life boats into the ocean, and rushed me and others to the hospital.

So, here I am today living, breathing, telling you all my story. I just hope you all understand and appreciate the freedoms that you have here in this great country....that you support our troops while they defend our way of life and our basic right to live. Our soldiers are the only ones standing in the way of those who wish to do us harm. Through my story, please appreciate your freedom. It can be taken away so quickly.