Skip to main content

Articles > In Pursuit of the American Dream: Refugees Risk Life and Family Escaping from War-Torn Countries

 
May 12, 2010
by Tiffany Ran

Northwest Asian Weekly

KENT, Wash. — After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Choy Vong had  many things working against him. His father was the staff sergeant in the fifth infantry of the defeated South Vietnamese army. His brother worked for an American subcontractor company, and Vong’s own proficiency in the English language could get him pegged as a spy.

Their affiliations labeled them as traitors to a homeland that seemed to have turned against them.

When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia, Sam Ung’s family and all citizens residing in big cities were in­structed to leave. Civilians were shoved out of major cities. Houses and major businesses like Ung’s father’s restaurant were abandoned. Confused civilians moved numbly through the streets herded by the threat of pointed rifles. They were not allowed to look back or they would be shot.

Full story: Rebella escaped to a refugee camp in Thailand