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.