I was born in Da Nang, South Vietnam, in August 1965. My father was a soldier in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). . . . When the North Vietnamese Communists took over South Vietnam in April 1975, my father, like hundreds of thousands of other South Vietnamese, was sent to a "re-education" camp, where he suffered horrendously from hard labor, malnutrition, torture, and solitary confinement, for 12 years. . . . My mother’s business was confiscated, and we had to do everything we could to scrape by. I have no idea how we survived those years.Read this blog. This is a man who has something to say.
From 1979 to 1981, I made many unsuccessful attempts to escape Vietnam, and was caught twice. Each time I spent only about a month in jail, and my mother bribed me out. . . . Finally, in August of 1981, at the age of 16, I managed to successfully escape on a small boat, making it to Hong Kong after 4 days on the South China Sea. After spending 8 months in a refugee camp there, I came to America in April 1982. I was sponsored by my brothers, who had also escaped as boat people and settled in America in 1979. My parents finally were reunited with us when they were sponsored to come as immigrants in 1990. We sometimes tease our parents that they had it better than us: they came on an airplane instead of a boat!
I've been living near Little Saigon in Orange County, Southern California, ever since I came to America. Even though I'm a computer programmer, I work on an IBM mid-range computer, not on a PC, and my PC and Internet skills are quite limited. I’m a novice at blogging. Unlike many bloggers, I've never had any training in writing or journalism or law, and this is the first time I've ever written anything. Obviously, English is my second language. Those factors made me a little hesitant about starting this blog. Let's just see how this adventure turns out.