Imagine if you were transported to a foreign land, penniless, not knowing the native language, surrounded by foreigners who you’ve only seen in fatigues. With just one day’s warning, my mother packed up our meager belongings, my brothers and I who were 7, 3, and 2 years old at the time, and left behind her home and her third child. My parents struggled with the idea of leaving all they had, but they knew that the option of staying was not an option. My father who was a helicopter pilot for the South Vietnamese Air Force would be quarantined in a concentration camp if they had stayed.
Saigon fell to the Communists on April 30, 1975. On April 29, 1975, my father flew us out of Saigon while under fire from the Communists. Somehow, we made it in one piece to Thailand. From there, the Americans flew us to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.