We now live in America. My mom was really excited when I told her she had some questions, keep em commin'! This is her son doing the AMA.

EDIT1: Proof? http://imgur.com/ziWZa

EDIT2: My mom is also in the process of writing a book about her ordeal. She and most of her siblings were also fortunate enough to go to college.

EDIT3: We'll be back in 3 hours, going to go see Django Unchained :P

EDIT4: Gonna go to sleep now, its been great answering all of the questions from you guys. Thanks, ill try to get to them tomorrow. Good night!

Comments: 164 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

orde21625 karma

Can you give us an outline of your background? Where you were from, rich/poor and if you had any political affiliations etc? Btw, I'm a westerner who escaped the centrifuge at home in the West to lead a freer life in Vietnam.

Hyplexed35 karma

I left Vietnam when i was 4 years old with my family of 13, including my grandmother at the time was 86. I'm now 42 years old. married with 2 beautiful sons and resided the Gulf of Florida. My dad was a high ranking officer in the South army and life was good until he was held in concentration camps after the war, so after he was released he took a year to plan our escape by boat.

orde21614 karma

I heard stories of refugees such as yourselves suffering from some of your own countrymen on the escape. Such things as getting robbed by people in Cà Mau or even whilst on the boats. Is any of this true?

Hyplexed20 karma

There are people being raped and robbed but we were fortunate to receive help from a Thai ship, they gave us dried goods and directed us to Thailand since we lost everything.

littlefellow-50 karma

since when polygamie and incest got legal? jk

Hyplexed3 karma

different topic :)

littlefellow0 karma

thank you, wasnt meant to insult just wanted to point out, that there has to be a comma

married , with 2 beautiful sons and resided the Gulf of Florida.

Hyplexed1 karma

oh, didnt notice

doreex318 karma

How did the American soldiers treat the southern women? My grandma conceived my mother who is half-white half-Viet during the war. She won't say how it exactly happened but I wanna' know whether it was a Miss Saigon kind of relationship or worse...

Hyplexed26 karma

Too many cases: some raped, some on a friendly relationship and some do fall in love.

Triviaandwordplay13 karma

My ex is the 1969 product of an American civilian contractor and a South Vietnamese woman. They got out in 1975, reside in the US, and are still married. Three kids, and 7 grandkids.

Hyplexed8 karma

Glad to hear happy endings.

dsutari17 karma

Did you marry an American? (read: white guy)

Hyplexed28 karma

I actually did and he is a wonderful man.

gurry9 karma

My hometown has an USAF base that played host to a number of refugees.

It was about 38 years ago my mom had my sister and me pick out toys from our closet to give to some of the children who had fled. I don't remember what I gave, but my mom says we both gave our favorite toys.

The one thing I do remember is that was the first time I was around that many people who did not speak English. I can remember just staring at the kids as they stared back at me, all of us shy in our new worlds we had discovered.

Hyplexed8 karma

I do remember when we first arrived in the US. We were thankful that we had people who gave us clothes, food, toys and their friendship.

spilledonwhite738 karma

What was the worst part about living in communist Vietnam?

Hyplexed19 karma

They captured and tortured my dad in concentration camps, we were not able to visit or know where they were taking him. One of my brothers also passed away due to malnutrition.

Bavmorda8 karma

There is a history in this subreddit of people faking stories like this. I don't doubt you, but you should really show some proof before this gets removed.

Hyplexed13 karma

I dont know how I would show proof.. When we were on the boat many of our papers got destroyed and lost.

Bavmorda6 karma

Show a picture of your mother holding a dated sign to reddit.

Hyplexed23 karma

I did, I don't know how much it proves, though.

danzbrain14 karma

Attorney with some Immigration Law Experience here.

I personally believe OP. There are quite a few people that had to flee Vietnam during this period. A lot of them passed through refugee camps in Thailand and the Philippines, so OPs story is entirely plausible.

OP, if you have any paperwork showing that you received a refugee/asylee status, that should do it. Cover your name, take a picture.

Hyplexed2 karma

The last time i saw those paper i was 5 years old. I was naturalized in 1985 to become a US citizen and in 1997 married to an American guy. So when i'm able to dig up those paperwork you'll be the first.

[deleted]6 karma


Hyplexed11 karma

I have not yet but most of my family already has and I definitely plan on doing so! :)

mikhail_sh2 karma

That's not too hard for your or your family?..I definitely understand longing for your home of homes and I don't how I would feel or react but it seems, even more than 40 years later...just too painful?

TL:DR Is there anyone in your family that feels that going back is too hard?

Hyplexed3 karma

No, im in a family of 9 other siblings that have all gone back except myself.

Hyplexed3 karma

I just didn't have the time or leisure yet.

spitfire91073 karma

what do you think of agent orange? whats your job now?

Hyplexed14 karma

It is a horrible thing used in the VN war to kill foliage, causes death and birth defects. I'm now an investor and an online boutique owner, wife and mother of 2 teenage boys.

thefemalegaze3 karma

What was the hardest part about living under Communist rule while your father was held in the concentration camps? How was life immediately after you escaped – did you miss home at all, or were you relieved to have left?

Hyplexed6 karma

After he went into concentration our family was being watched by the communists. They took everything so it was very difficult, they limited our education, food and freedom and that was part of why we and most people fled to find freedom.

thefemalegaze1 karma

Thanks for your response!

Hyplexed1 karma

youre welcome!

Yellohh2 karma


Hyplexed2 karma


nithin19972 karma

How difficult was it adjusting to the US?

Hyplexed2 karma

It was very difficult especially school. I didnt speak english and had a very tough time there. We got supplies from local churches and charities. My family would wake up very early to go and collect garbage for some extra money.

derpdeederp842 karma

How did your experiences shape your current political beliefs? Are you leftist, centrist, conservative, libertarian? And do you like flavored popcorn?

Hyplexed1 karma

Liberal, I worked for the Obama 2012 campaign. and i love flavored popcorn

Cokeandrum22 karma

What do you think about the American involvement in the war?

Hyplexed16 karma

War is greed and power, and I think sometimes the involvement is gaining power and control.

SedentarySuspect2 karma

Was anything good about living there, and i am going to vietnam soon, anywhere i should go in particular?

Hyplexed13 karma

Life is good anywhere as long as there is peace. You should visit VungTau (where i was born) and off course Da Nang.

malvoliosf3 karma

You're the only person besides me who recommends Da Nang.

Sedentary Suspect: consider Sa Pa, Ha Long Bay, Huế, Hoi An (near Da Nang), Da Lat, Mui Ne, Saigon, and the Mekong Delta.

Hyplexed2 karma

all the places you mentioned above is also great to see. thanks.

StopItLink42 karma

Have you ever run into people in America who feel that communism is/was a good thing? If so, what do you say to them?

Hyplexed4 karma

I think most of the time older adults don't really talk about it, but for the younger we think that its great that people forgive and move forward to a better future.

[deleted]2 karma


Hyplexed15 karma

FREEDOM and having a better life was what kept me alive!

HigherHope2 karma

I'm so interested in this today because I was talking with a lady at a Thai restaurant I frequent. She is Chinese, but was raised in Vietnam and was a refugee in Indonesia before coming to America. Were you ever a refugee in another country? The lady said she had options to go to several other countries, but waited until she could come here. Was that your case and why choose America?

Hyplexed7 karma

Yes I was, in Thailand for 9 months. My dad spoke english and became a spokesperson in the camp to help out the ministry there as a translator. We had opportunities to go to France, Germany, and Australia but since he was helping with the American ministry, we were able to go to Los Angeles afterwards.

bobdebicker2 karma

Did you like Django Unchained?

Hyplexed2 karma

Yep, very gory Quentin Tarantino knows what he's doing :)

ThrashDragon1 karma

What would your family say was the hardest part about your escape?

Hyplexed5 karma

I think the scariest part was in the hour of leaving. We had 25 people(3 months-86 years old) We left on foot to get to our destination which was about 3 miles hike to the shore and waited for signal from a boat out in the water. Once the signal was given, we swam out to the boat, all of this had to be done in 20 minutes because the guards would come around by then.

Beckinsz1 karma

Was there any point at which your parents thought they might not make it out? (ie. someone finding out about your dad's plans, someone letting it slip, etc.)

Hyplexed3 karma

None of our family knew we were leaving until the day before except my dad and my brother. My dad and brother prepared everything and kept to themselves only. So I do think they had concerns about being caught but nobody was finding out about it in advance.

overexcitedpuppy1 karma

What was your biggest hope for coming to America?

Was there anything specific you wanted to do when you got to America?

Hyplexed3 karma

My dad's biggest hope was for all his children to be educated and to do good in life. Which I feel very blessed to have that. He knew that if we stay in VN we could not be able to do. I wanted to have a bike to ride around when i first got here.

aznredneck1 karma


I just wanted to say congrats on being able to have a wonderful life.

My dad also fled from Vietnam during the American withdrawal. He was a lieutenant in the ARVN and was also sent to a “re-education” camp after the fall of the South Vietnamese government. He was released after a couple years and made his way to a red cross refugee camp in Malaysia(I think) where he met my mom. They have him the option of immigrating to Australia, New Zealand, US, and Canada. He ended up choosing Canada as my uncle, his oldest brother was already somewhat established there. He ended up immigrating in 1979, and I was born a couple years after. He’s 66 years old now. He went back for the first time several years ago, and visited his home town (I forget the name) and ended up finding an old army buddy. After going back to his place to catch up, he surprised my dad of an old photo he kept of my dad in his dress uniform. He was soo happy he had lost everything he ever had during that time of his life. He ended up giving him whatever money he had in thanks, that picture is now hanging in my living room. He still has a lot of animosity to the “North” for what they did, and he never step foot outside of “South Vietnam” during his travels. I went backpacking there a couple years ago, starting from the north all the way to the south of the country. Let me tell you it is a beautiful country to visit. But also there are some things you see there that will break your heart. It really makes you appreciate the life we are able to live in North America. I think my dad still has all the refugee documents from his journey to Canada, and of course his army photo, I would be happy to post them if anyone was interested to see them. Say thanks for your mom for sharing and having the strong will to get through such and ordeal :)

Hyplexed1 karma

Thats very interesting, I will

curiouslywtf1 karma

Best and worst memory from when you lived in Vietnam?

Hyplexed1 karma

I love our hillside home overlooking Vau Tung (my childhood memory) until it was taken over from the communists so we move to our farm where we grew produce and sold crops at farmers market to earn money.

funkarama1 karma

Did your mother go to college in VN or the US?

Why do you think the US was in VN?

Hyplexed1 karma


ideatoaster1 karma


Hyplexed5 karma

25 people were on the very small fishing boat. By some miracle, none of us on the boat died. We were rescued by a Thai vessel that pointed us to safety.

jason9221 karma

My father followed the footsteps of you. I am curious, how did you escape?

Hyplexed2 karma

by boat in the night

CharlieFromAH1 karma

How exactly did you escape Vietnam?

Hyplexed8 karma

By boat. My dad planned the escape for a year after he was released from concentration camp. He left VN one night on a 20x12ft fishing boat and made it to Thailand with our entire family & some other friends (25people)

keppp1 karma


Hyplexed7 karma

My father fought in the war for the side of the South with Americans. I was very young during the war so I don't know much other than it made my life miserable after.

SkippyTheDog1 karma

What did you leave behind during this move? Do you still have family in Vietnam, and if so, what did/do they think about the situation?

Hyplexed2 karma

My family left everything, including a farm that help us through after the war with growing produce and having limited life stock. Most of my family were able to come over afterward, they all wanted to fled as well.

freakenspazz1 karma


Hyplexed2 karma

It was very difficult especially school. I didnt speak english and had a very tough time there. We got supplies from local churches and charities. My family would wake up very early to go and collect garbage for some extra money.

[deleted]-2 karma


Hyplexed7 karma

I do not hold resentment in my heart.

[deleted]-4 karma


Hyplexed3 karma

No, we escaped after the war and after my dad was released from being held prisoner in a concentration camp. The event that make me realized the importance of being alive is escaping Vietnam in a fishing boat with 24 others.

OperationArcLight-10 karma

WHat do you think of le lenny face XD ------> ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Hyplexed3 karma


hs0o-15 karma

Do you generalize Communism as being bad even though it is really just Vietnam that can't get it's shit together while other countries like Cuba are actually really nice places to live in?

Hyplexed12 karma

In cuba, it is illegal to be gay like you.