HOF169: Son Thi Nguyen

Son Thi Nguyen, a Vietnamese-Cambodian, lived in Cambodia before escaping to Vietnam from the Khmer Rouge. Her family set out to secretly leave Vietnam after enduring the conditions of the communist regime in Vietnam for four years and gradually losing their property. Late one night, she woke up her 8 children and her husband and fled towards Saigon.

Once in Saigon, they stayed at a stranger’s home and waited for dark before boarding a boat out to sea. Just as their boat was about to set sail, a company of soldiers on a Viet Cong boat fired their weapons at them. They managed to flee, only to arrive at a Thai military base camp where they were fired on by weapons once again. They waved a white flag and were accompanied to shore where they were forced to trade all their goods for transportation to a refugee camp.

Son’s husband and children were eager to go to the United States, but she was adamant that their country of asylum would be Canada.