Monday, February 14, 2011

Insider Quote: first to be exposed and last to be rescued ...

Aerial view of the US Embassy, Saigon, showing...Image via WikipediaJackie Bong Wright
—Saigon 1975

Locally Employed Staff,

US Embassy Vietnam

I served as a Vietnamese employee.  I think that we were the first to be exposed and the last to be rescued.  And we had to be there to face disaster or crisis.  And at that time many Americans already left and we were Vietnamese.  We were to stay and to be there to be open – to open our doors.  And I personally, because of my history, my husband, Nguyen Van Bong, was assassinated by the Communists in late 1971, and I was the chairman of the board of the Vietnamese American Association.  I felt that I was prone to be a target of the Communists, the Vietnamese Communists.  Therefore, I had to try to leave.  And the day I asked someone at the U.S. Embassy to help a lot of members of my family – cousins, aunts, uncles and everyone – came to my house and asked to be rescued.  And I said even myself, I didn’t know how.  And fortunately at the last minute, I was asked to go, and I had the opportunity to be so-called married to an American pilot.  But many, many Vietnamese were there.  They stayed and they were not lucky, and they were put in jail.  Many of my friends, my colleagues from the VAA, from USIS, from the U.S. embassy affiliated offices and also with the U.S. companies.  Quite a few of them, including my brother.  My brother who had spent six years in the U.S. came back in early April.  He was asked to register, and he went to a refugee camp.  The Communists said that because he was related to the U.S., and being in the U.S. for six years, he was certainly connected to be CIA.  So he went to a refugee camp, concentration camp, and prison.  And he died of bad treatment.  A lot of my friends, Vietnamese friends, suffered the same fate.

Read the whole thing at US Diplomacy.

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