Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hong Le Webb: From Vung Tau to Virginia

Via Carl

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1) You were born in Vietnam. Can you tell us when and how you came to America, what brought you here, and whether you still have family in Vietnam?

I left Vietnam immediately after the fall of Saigon in April 1975, along with my paternal grandmother, my parents, my only brother and three of my five sisters. We left my home town of Vung Tau in the middle of the night on a fishing boat. My other two sisters, who were married before I was born, left on different boats with their families around the same time. All of my immediate family are in the U.S. (surviving my parents are seven children, 31 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren). I still have distant relatives in Vietnam today, with whom my older siblings keep in touch. 

The 1975 departure was the second one for my parents. My parents and both sets of my grandparents were farmers in the north of Vietnam before 1954. My maternal grandparents were assassinated by the communists during the French War, and when the country split, my parents went to Vung Tau with my paternal grandparents and my three oldest siblings. As practicing, devout Catholics, my parents didn't believe that they and their family would have survived in the the north after 1954 nor in the south after 1975.

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