We’re getting the perspectives of three people who experienced the days of the Vietnam War before they were forced to leave. For two of these guests, that meant fleeing their home country for an unknown future. For one Marine, it meant returning to a home to a country divided by the war.
First, we’ll hear from author Huong Chi Truong Smith about her changing self-image as a former refugee and the memoir she wrote. Then, Ken Crouse will recount his final days as a U.S. Marine in South Vietnam. We’ll end on a conversation with Dr. Carolee Tran, a Sacramento psychologist who was a child when she fled Saigon.
Author Huong Chi Truong Smith Discusses ‘TigerFish’ Memoir
As an adult, Huong Chi Truong Smith was ashamed of being a refugee. She only began writing out her memories so her children would know the truth about her family’s escape from Vietnam. But recently, she was driven to share her story after watching news reports on the Syrian refugee crisis. So she left her state government job to write her memoir.
She published “TigerFish: A Memoir of a South Vietnamese Colonel’s Daughter” in 2017. The book was published under her birth name, Huong Chi Truong, and traces her life as family experienced the Vietnam War and fled days before the country fell to the North Vietnamese. She will be an ambassador and participate in the Visionaries Summit California, scheduled for Sept. 19-22 in Sacramento.
Final Moments in Saigon: Ken Crouse
The fall of Saigon occurred more than four decades ago, but Marine veteran Ken Crouse says the images are still clear in the minds of many Marines who were stationed there. Folsom resident Crouse was a young Marine stationed at the American embassy during the final days of the Vietnam War when Americans and South Vietnamese allies were airlifted as the North Vietnamese Army closed in on the city. Forty years later in 2015, he joined Insight to recount the harrowing airlift operations during those final hours. We’re revisiting that conversation today.
Escaping Vietnam: Dr. Carolee Tran
When Dr. Carolee Tran was a child, she was one of thousands who fled her native South Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War. More than four decades later, she can recall the chaos and confusion as she jumped over bodies to board a boat to Saigon, not knowing whether her family was on the same vessel.
Dr. Tran’s story was featured in the KVIE Public Television documentary, “ViewFinder: My Vietnam War Story,” that accompanied a 10-part Ken Burns film. Today, she is a professor at UC Davis and a practicing psychologist. She is writing a book about her traumatic experience, which she recounts in hopes of humanizing today’s refugees.