They grew up as the leftovers of an unpopular war, straddling two worlds but belonging to neither. Most never knew their fathers. Many were abandoned by their mothers at the gates of orphanages. Some were discarded in garbage cans. Schoolmates taunted and pummeled them and mocked the features that gave them the face of the enemy—round blue eyes and light skin, or dark skin and tight curly hair if their soldier-dads were African-Americans. Their destiny was to become waifs and beggars, living in the streets and parks of South Vietnam's cities, sustained by a single dream: to get to America and find their fathers.
Daughter from Danang
Children of the Vietnam War | Travel | Smithsonian Magazine
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Charles J. Noel & Associates, P.A.
We crossed the bridge over the Tuy Loan River and stopped the car on the other side. Sweet potatoes and manioc were drying in the sun. The smell of sugarcane filled the air.
In , with the end of the war in Vietnam imminent, Mai Thi Kim, a poor, young Vietnamese woman, sent her seven-year-old daughter to America as part of a controversial evacuation program known as Operation Babylift. Kim believed her daughter Hiep — who was conceived during a brief love affair with an American Naval officer — would be in danger in Vietnam. The parting was devastating to both mother and child.