Saturday, January 22, 2011

I can feel their pain

This morning my wife blessed me with funds to visit her favorite place and get a pedicure. It was my second and certainly won't be my last.

The lady that was taking care of me was talking with another employee at one time and I recognized it to be Vietnamese. I asked her where she came from and she said Vietnam. I told her that I had spent 19 months there back in 1968 through 1970 and spent most of my time in Qui Nhon.

Her next statement moved me when she said she was born in Qui Nhon and later moved to Saigon. I shared with her that I had spent time at the Ghen Rang Orphanage and enjoyed being with the children who were products of sexual relations between GI's & Vietnamese women. Basically they were outcast and no one really cared about them except Catholic Nuns that ran the orphanage

She then opened up and said that she was mixed as well and never knew who her father was. It hurt hearing this knowing how all this happens. I have seen on line that the orphanage I visited was one of the orphanages that were airlifted out of Vietnam in 1975 when Saigon fell. From what I have read there were many families waiting for them so hopefully they were joined with good families.

She indicated that she was only 5 when she was evacuated out of Saigon and had to walk over dead bodies getting out of there. She said the memories of the scene of death bothered her for some time but she eventually put it behind her and moved on.

When she explained to me how it hurt to know she was thought of as nothing and disposable it hurt me as well being part of the group that was over there. I just don't understand why we can't seem to go into a foreign country without somehow messing it up in one way or another.

Of course I can't think back to that time in the orphanage without first thinking of the little blonde hair and blue eyed girl being held by one of the girls that worked on my compound. She was looking so cute and yet she was part of the disposable group of children. All I can do is hope that she was indeed airlifted out of Vietnam and now lives with a loving family. For today I have been there and yes I do feel their pain.


  1. Wow, what a story. Very interested. How blessed she was to have you as a client and could talk about it, I'm sure not many people even mention it.

    So sad what she endured as a small child and had to overcome to just live and go on.

  2. These are the ravages of war, Odie. Where have all the flowers gone? When will they ever learn?

  3. what a story! how ironic that you had been to where she was from. it is such a shame that children anywhere are thought of as "disposable" by others.

  4. Amazing story....thank you for sharing your life experiences with us....i love reading them..hugs!

  5. No child should ever be considered disposable Odie - and to think that this happened is so, so sad. I know that it did - I understand the stigma and it is awful.

    Every child should be wanted and loved - I don't know how it could be any other way, but it is. Unfortunately.

  6. Thank you for sharing this story, Odie. May God help all the children in war-torn countries. I wish those who made the decision to go to war could see for themselves every day how it harms innocent people.

  7. It's wrong that any child should be thought of as disposable or not worthy of love and care.
    Sadly Odie it happens. Not that it should mind you.
    If Peter had been born a generation before he was , we'd prob have been told to "put him away and forget about him"
    No way - he has given us so much fun in the past 21 years. Yes, we have days that are hard, but our lives are so much better because he's with us.

    If it's any consolation Odie - my hubbie always says wherever the British end up, they usualay get themselves involved in a war.

  8. Odie, first of all I am sorry I haven't been here in a while. HELLO! Secondly, this blog post brought me to tears. WOW. I hope all those children got to go to good homes too. That is so weird that you ran into a lady who had to go through all of that. Its amazing the people you pass on the street and you don't know their story. That is why we should reach out and care about everyone. You don't know what kind of a day they have had or what kind of a life they have had. Thank you for writing this. Carrie

  9. thats a crazy story...small world. great post. Im following. check me out.

  10. War is not a pretty thing. People can be such animals and hurt innocent lives like those "orphans." I really hope that they got loving homes as well.

  11. Lovely sentiments expressed well.

    Thank you.


  12. I remember the airlifts of the children out of Saigon. If I remember correctly, one of the planes crashed. Very sad story. As the memories of Viet Nam subside for so many Americans today, lest we not forget that we are still at war again. You would think at some point we could be at war no more.

  13. It's sad to think of any child being deemed as disposable, like you said prayers that they all found a home and it was a blessing to know at least one did, in the woman you talked with.