Psychological lense-Speaking through my camera to my new friends in Vietnam

(Written by Vietnam Veteran who met Amerasians in Vietnam after one of our return trips

 As I zoom lensed my camera into their eyes in my best photography, I saw these thoughts as I independently photographed these asking people: ~Did my dead father die on the battlefields of Vietnam?~Would I be loved by the American people?

~How can I escape the life that I love?

~Will my mother come with me if I leave my homeland?

~How can I be sure these strangers are sincere?

~I do not want to beg for a chance in life, but I am

~Is my God their God?

~I feel hope & happiness.

~Stay strong, don’t let them see fear in my eyes.

I put down my camera, my psychological zoom lens. The photographs forever stay in my mind. We wave, hug, shake hands, say goodbye, but not forever.

Past Practice

The Hmong of America marched through my mind each step of the way. The way to another land after post 1975 is not easy.

amerasians-11Vietnam Veteran meeting Amerasians with Thuy in Vietnam
See other reflection (Lost Children of Asia) and our (Website).
Please help share this story in trying to help reunite an Amerasian with her Vietnam veteran father (One woman’s search for her father)
Founder’s Reflections (Healing my wounds of war)

Lost Children of Asia- Poem Veteran writes after meeting Amerasians in Vietnam

January 11th, 23:13 (Written by Vietnam Vet after he met Amerasians in Vietnam on one of our return trips)
So I said to my new-found friends when I saw them, “Who are you?”.  
And they say, “I’m not sure”.

So I said to my new friends, “Where are you going?”

And they say,  “I’m not sure”.

So I said to my new friends, “Where have you been?”

And they say, “Looking for you”.

So I said to my new friends, “Is that I that I see in you?”

And they say, “I’m sure”.

So I said to my new friends, “What can I do for you?”

And they say, ‘I’m not sure”.

So I said to my new friends, “You are my family”.

And they said, “yes”.

So I said to my family, “I love you”.

And they said, “I’m not sure”.

Be sure my friends and family I love you. You are my family now & always will be.

Meeting Amerasians with Thuy on return trip to Vietnam (Second Reflection- Psychological Lense- Speaking through my camera to my new friends in Vietnam) and our (website)

Please help us spread the word about this father we are trying to reunite with his Amerasian Daughter (A Daughter longs for her father)

Healing my wounds of war (An Amerasian Daughter’s Reflections- poems)

A Vietnam Vet reflects on the abandonment of Vietnam and America’s children

A Vietnam Veteran’s thoughts on meeting Amerasians with Thuy
Vietnam trip with Thuy 2010
amerasians-11
Daughters and Sons of servicemen, what country abandons its own children?
Meeting Amerasians, men and women, and family members today was a deeply moving experience. It somehow connected one deeply to that other reality of 40 years ago. I could see in the faces of the men, the young men, the young soldier. It was a haunting experience to see their faces, as if the past was somehow once again real.

I also became aware of basic thought patterns which I held about the fathers of these Amerasians. One thought pattern which I became aware of as being false is that the men abandoned the women here in Vietnam and abandoned their offspring.

Today I saw the faces of young men who maybe died here a few weeks or days after their liaison or who were medevac to the U.S with body parts missing, or mentally or psychologically crippled. No judgement and no understanding of our individual situations is possible. Who can find fault with a young man knowing he may never see his next birthday to take comfort & escape with a willing tender partner?

If government policy is a reflection of the morals and values of the society as a whole, then surely that society which deliberately turns it’s back on these people, the sons and daughters of its own service men, then that society surely is heartless and cruel.

That same society sent its young men into the situation which must assuredly produce the results that we encountered today. It is therefore the society’s responsibility which created this eventually to acknowledge and support these sons and daughters just as it does any son or daughter born to a serviceman within the borders of the U.S.A. What country, what society abandons its own children?

*TSIO does acknowledge that although there were many Veterans who were not aware of having a child, the fact is that some children and their mothers were also abandoned. This was only one Veteran’s reflections.

Related Posts:  Vietnam Veterans meeting Amerasians in Vietnam for first time

Vietnam Veterans meeting Amerasians in Vietnam for first time

Vietnam trip with two Vietnam Veterans- January 2010

Arriving at the restaurant to meet fellow Amerasians:

I was so overwhelmed. I looked at all of them and felt very honored to meet them, little did they know.

We started with introductions and I told them~ I am here because I never want to forget where I came from and I am a proud Amerasian. I also told them they were my brothers and sisters.

You can see the American features in their faces. That was the overwhelming part. With me, I am always mistaken for someone from the Middle East. With them however, it was very clear they were part American.

I was so proud of the Vietnam Veterans who were with me for wanting to meet with them. They were worried they would not be liked and wasn’t sure they wanted it known they were Veterans. I told them with my experience it would probably be the opposite. They would be happy to know that they were veterans who took time to come and meet them. I was correct.

They hugged the veterans and were so happy to have the interaction with them. To all Vietnam Veteran who have been writing to me about this, I thank you. I thank you for not forgetting and caring about us.

I am who you think I am, don’t YOU know? It just makes me laugh!

identity-fraud12I am who you think I am, don’t YOU know? It just makes me laugh.

It just makes me laugh…………….

~Are you wearing your Vietnamese dress to your event? No

Why not? Shame on you. Where is your pride in your culture?

It just makes me laugh………………

~Your name- where is it from? It is a Vietnamese name.

Oh- you are Vietnamese?

Well I am actually Cambodian from Vietnam with also an American father.

Why do you have to state that you are Cambodian Vietnamese? Are you trying to get attention for being a minority? Are you not just American?

I say all of this because someone (like you) asked me where my name is from or I’m asked to speak about my experiences and connection to Vietnam and the war in Vietnam so how does one leave all that out?

Actually………….. I just go around and say all the time when introducing myself……HELLO…. MY NAME IS THUY. Guess what? I am A Cambodian from Vietnam. Oh and By The Way- I am also Amerasian. In case you are wondering……………….

It just makes me laugh……………………..

~You are not really Vietnamese. You don’t like to eat certain Vietnamese food. You are Americanized!

It just makes me laugh…………………………

~I bet you cook Vietnamese food all the time, just like your mother.

Actually…….I cook more Italian food than I do Vietnamese Sometimes.

Really? Shame on you.

It just makes me laugh………..

~I decide to make Vietnamese food or share some Vietnamese and Cambodian culture. I love to visit Vietnam and Cambodia.

Why is that and why do you share these things? Are you ashamed of being an American? I wonder if you would rather live there because of your past negative experiences.

It just makes me laugh…………………

~Someone said to me – “hey I just got done watching a few kung-fu movies, it made me think of you”.

It just makes me laugh…………………..

~Some white people say- Don’t talk about race and then it won’t be an issue! They are quick to quote a couple of black men who have said- “I am not a black man, I am a man, AMERICAN.  It only becomes an issue because you talk about it”.

It just makes me laugh……….

~A Veteran says to me before one my events I organize- can I greet you with a hug?

I said no. How about a punch?

He cracked up and says: “Boy, I guess you have been in this country a long time”.

~I AM Thuy! So…… I am Buddhist! I am Americanized! I am meek! I am un-submissive! I am disrespectful! I am an Asian princess! I am Amerasian so I AM Confused! I am an ungrateful Asian! I am a spoiled American! I am delicate! I am quiet and she never argues with her man! I am too Asian! I am not Asian enough!  I EAT DOG!

I AM??????????? I do??????? Don’t YOU know?

It just makes me laugh………..

* (Added a day later)

This blog was an accounting & expression of…..YES….what I’ve heard personally throughout the years. Am I Americanized? Am I an ungrateful Asian? And so on and so on….Should I be cooking Asian food all the time? Is it a shame if I don’t? The point was- some people out there seem to know. Depending on who it is, what they perceive to be the truth about you or how they think it should be.

These assumptions just didn’t come from white people or other races, but also some Vietnamese. I am half Asian and half white. I am Amerasian, no longer a negative identity, but mine to embrace and be proud.