721 – Another Reason We Fought in Vietnam

Bo Tran, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

After the Vietnam War, Bo Tran, who is South Vietnamese, survived a labor camp, being helplessly adrift in a boat on the ocean, and a refugee camp before immigrating to America as a refugee. He shared his story recently with columninst David Campiche while fishing on the Columbia River.

In this episode we will take a look at one of the noble reasons we fought in that miserable war in Vietnam. It is described in a story found in The Daily Astorian’s Coast Weekend Arts & Entertainment titled: Close to Home: Humans in a boat submitted by David Campiche. Campiche talks about the life of Bo Tran, a Vietnamese refugee who survived a perilous path to American citizenship and its blessings. Tran’s story should be an inspiration to all Vietnam Veterans.

When the North Vietnamese took over South Vietnam in April of 1975, two years after they signed the Paris Peace Accords and we left, Tran was put in a “re-education camp” where he languished for six months. While being re-educated in the camp, everyday he would watch as 10 to 15 of his fellow students be gunned down by the camp instructors. Apparently he was sufficiently educated by watching his fellow South Vietnamese being murdered. He was released after six months of matriculation in the North Vietnamese higher education system.

Immediately after his release he began making preparations to “get the hell out of Dodge.” Those preparations led to a nine day trip through hell ending up on a Malaysian beach. There were 60 desperate refugees on a small boat that was left drifting in the ocean by ruthless pirates. Finally the small boat washed ashore on a Malaysian island. Rather than receiving a warm welcome by the Malaysians, they were tossed into a crowded refugee camp full of other deplorable Vietnamese refugees.

Thank the good Lord, a Christian group from the US paid a ransom for sixty refugees including Tran and brought them to America for resettlement. Trans grabbed the opportunity to benefit from the blessings of this great county and made the most of it. Today he is a successful real estate investor and his daughter, Linda, is a highly successful attorney with a Seattle law firm.

America will open its arms to refugees who want to become Americans but it should be very mindful of those who want to come here and do us harm.

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