My Unassuming Hero and his Fight to Freedom


After 1975, when North Vietnam Communism had started to attack South Vietnam. They took in innocent South Vietnam people and put them as Prisoner of War (POW). My grandparents didn’t want to get captured so they escaped on a boat. This is a story of how my Grandparents immigrated to California. 

My Grandpa had packed up and was ready to set sail. They got onto the boat and started to sail, the year was 1979. My Grandpa and his family were excited that they would finally get their chance to have the freedom and to thrive. They sailed for weeks until their boat hit coral that then broke the engine. My grandpa had to walk to the Island by foot on coral, he got his foot cut and injured but he still walked to the Island. He didn’t have much money on him, but he had jewelry so he traded his jewelry for parts to fix the boat. He stayed at that Island for a few days to fix up the boat to get it running again. 

After the boat was fixed, they tested to see if it would run, which it did. My grandpa and his family got on the boat and sailed to Hong Kong, which took weeks probably at least a month. It was a very tiring trip to get to Hong Kong but they finally made it. They got their belongings off their boat and went into a Hong Kong refugee camp. Where they wait for an American family to sponsor them.

Nearly a year after living in a Hong Kong refugee camp, an American family had sponsored them. My Grandparents were super excited and happy. The next day, a plane had arrived and my Grandparents got onto it and flew straight to Stockton, California. My Grandparents found it hard to speak English so they went to college for two years and learned some English. During those two years, my Grandparents also had to find a job. After two years of hard work, my Grandpa got an AA degree in electrical engineering. After College, my Grandparents then moved to San Jose.

Once my Grandparents had moved to San Jose, they bought a house and started their own business–a food catering business. They sold food from a truck with their children helping right alongside their grandparents. After years of working, my grandparents had retired. Today, they live in San Jose and live in freedom.