HOF084: Dang Van Nghiem
Dang Van Nghiem grew up in the countryside in South Vietnam, where his fellow villagers lived under the constant threat of raids by the North Vietnam army during the war. He lost his two siblings when they were shot in a targeted attack in their mother’s home. When the war ended, Dang considered joining insurgents who were committed to continuing the fight. He ultimately decided to abandon his medical studies and leave the country.
After he was sponsored by the Hamilton Mennonite Church to come to Canada from an Indonesian refugee camp, he benefited from the church’s multi-year support as he worked on a university degree in nursing. He chose the occupation because he wanted to enlist in the medical corps of the National United Front for the Freedom of Vietnam, which at the time was encamped in the mountains of Thailand with the goal of marshalling resources to topple the Communist regime.