I am the 2nd generation of Vietnamese to live in America. My father served as a Lieutenant in the ARVN Rangers (American Ally). Trained by U.S. Army Rangers and fought the North Vietnamese Army and Vietcong in many near-death battles, he was humble of his actions. After the fall Saigon on April 30th 1975, his American counterparts offered him and his wife help to escape the communists and live a new life in America. He said,” No, I can’t just take only my wife, it has to be my entire family..” They told him he could not bring anymore people. He responded,” Besides, I can’t abandon my country at its darkest hour.” After the fall of our nation, my father was imprisoned by the Vietnamese Communists and sent to re-education camps (Death Camps). He was charged with treason and treacherous acts against the motherland by aiding and assisting the “American Imperialist” with their aggression towards Vietnam. He was deemed dangerous and destructive to the communist party for his rank and position in the war. For 7 years he was moved to several camps blindfolded to make it difficult for family to visit and for any plans to escape. He finally was released in 1982 under a U.S. program that released POWs and offer them sanctions in America. I was born in Vietnam in 1992 and our family left for the U.S. in 1994. Over the years of understanding how I got here and where I came from, I don’t blame the Americans for pulling out of Vietnam in 1973. The soldiers didn’t have a choice and politics cause them to leave.  I do thank the United States for taking my family and I refuge from the communists. In respect for my father and his belief in the American Military and government,  I joined the U.S. Army in return for saving my family. For this memorial day America, I commemorate your deeds to give not only me but others a potential new life to live.

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