Kevin Minh Allen And Son of Vietnam: The Re-Emergence + Andrew Lam + VOA And Nguyen Van Hai + Operation Frequent Wind

Friday, May 01, 2015

Son of Vietnam: The Re-Emergence
By Kevin Minh Allen

It took me 41 years and four months to return to the city in which I was born in December 1973. Sài Gòn, Việt Nam, is a city that no longer recognizes me as one of its sons because I was raised in a culture of mac-n-cheese and not bún bò huế. Yet I had been psychologically preparing for the moment when I would arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, step on Vietnamese soil and breathe in its air for the first time since I was escorted out of the country to be adopted in the U.S. in August 1974 as an 8-month-old infant. I was not there to kiss the ground nor to weep for joy or sorrow nor even to claim any kind of birthright. I was prepared to see everything as it was.

The fall of Saigon: How Vietnam ended up in the US orbit
By Andrew Lam

What this means on the ground is that a sizable population of Viet Kieu — Vietnamese expats, former boat people and their children — now wield considerable leverage in their homeland. From opening wine shops to creating startups, from running high-tech companies to working as executives for major foreign companies in Vietnam, from starting art centers to making movies or teaching at universities, expats have become active agents in changing Vietnam’s destiny.

Epitomizing the trend is Henry Nguyen, 41, who fled Vietnam as a child with his parents and spent months in a refugee camp in Thailand. Eventually he became a Goldman Sachs associate in Virginia. Now he is back in Vietnam, famous for bringing McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and venture capital to his homeland. To top it off, the former boat person who became an U.S. entrepreneur married the daughter of Vietnam’s prime minister in 2006.

Fall of Saigon Continues to Sting Vietnamese-Americans
By Colin Nguyen from VOANews

Prominent Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai, who was deported to the United States after being released from prison in Vietnam last year, echoed Bich’s opinions.

“Conflicting ideologies split Vietnamese into two sides, leading to the war," he said. "Therefore, it is now time for everyone to sit down to find ways to restore the country. But everyone must have a voice in the process, although the communist party maintains that only it rules over the nation.”

War still resonates with local Vietnamese-American family on 40th anniversary

Operation Frequent Wind was the last stage of the American evacuation from Saigon, which included both military personnel and Vietnamese who had helped the United States during the war. Thousands were airlifted by helicopter to safety. Meanwhile, thousands of other Vietnamese refugees made their own way out of the country. Cung said he put himself on a plane, while Hieu said she left Saigon on a boat shortly after the war was over. The two met in Guam on their way to Florida, and later settled in Lawrenceville, where they reside today.