By Nathan Hoang, Texas Monthly
A reflection on family and home, on the heels of my parents retiring from their longtime business.
Almost 45 years ago, the shores of Vũng Tàu were lined with dinghies. In them were people just trying to get to international waters, in hopes that other nations’ ships could bring them to safe refuge. When thousands of people evacuated Vietnam to flee the Việt Cộng during the fall of Saigon in April 1975, the owner of one small angling boat was also preparing to leave. The boat owner’s friend, Cậu (Uncle) Tài, persuaded him to take an additional five people with them: his sister and her boyfriend (my uncle), my other uncle, my mom, and my dad. Seeing the danger in overloading his boat with strangers, this man could have left them all on land to fend for themselves. Instead, he let all six of my family members pile into the pontoon and drift outward, until a Taiwanese battleship eventually rescued them…
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