Liberty T-Shirt

The shirt had a photo of the “Statue of Liberty”, the famous icon of the United States showing the ideal of humanity: Freedom and Democracy.

The shirt had a photo of the “Statue of Liberty”, the famous icon of the United States showing the ideal of humanity: Freedom and Democracy.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 Words – What I was wearing.

After the Vietnamese Communists occupied South Vietnam, being a Lt Colonel in the South VN Army, I was detained in various labor camps in the far mountainous areas of North VN for nine years. Then I was released in 1984 but remained under the close supervision of the local security service for two years. Finally I was acknowledged as a new citizen of the new Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and basically had the right to vote.

In 1987, a general election for the National Assembly was initiated across the country. Unfortunately all candidates were required to be primarily selected by the local communist branches, that means no independent candidate was approved, something that was strange compared to my experiences of elections in the free world. Disagreeing with that policy of election, I voted blank in protest. But wait there’s more!

Dark Red shadows poem

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(Vietnamese-luc-bat-style poem)

<<Story related to the poem>>

My thanks, you take me in,
Give me freedom akin to gold.
Government who uphold,
Human rights and untold fairness.
A country that’s classless,
Democracy, frankness and care,
Are best practiced affairs,
Plus racism just dare not grow.

Image credit
by Christopher Chan.

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Dark Red shadows

I came to Australia to escape the communist hell, but many knew that some of those demons made the journey too.

I came to Australia to escape the communist hell, but many knew that some of those demons made the journey too.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – How I came here.

After the Fall of Saigon, my father was ill-treated in communist hard-labour camps, where many of his colleagues died, because he was a Signal Corps Lieutenant Colonel. Many former military officers’ houses were forfeited, and their families were forced to relocate to the new economic zones.

The local government told Mum they wanted to take two storeys of our four-storey house and turn it into an administration office. Mum realised that their next step would be stripping us of our house completely and forcing us to move. At the time Mum had approximately 7kg of gold – earned from years working as children’s wear producer/wholesaler – stockpiled and hidden, so she took some and bribed the local officials to leave our house alone. Then, together with her sister, Mum opened a ‘co-operative clothing factory’ at our house. Regardless, the fear of losing the house never left our minds. But wait there’s more!

A new dawn

I used to be a commander. Ten years in jail and two decades later it was panic on the first day in my job.

I used to be a commander. Ten years in jail and two decades later it was panic on the first day in my job.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – On the job.

My family resettled in Canberra in November 1990 under the sponsorship of our daughter hiMe, who worked at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

I was 57 years old then. I needed a job to support my family. I was a graduate Electronics Communications Engineer at the US Army Signal School, so I applied with Telstra.

Telstra accepted my application but I didn’t hear from them for a long time. But wait there’s more!

I will live poem

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(Terza-Rima-style poem)

<<Story related to the poem>>

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – Things we do for love.

I wish I could turn back the time so that,
I would then push my Dad to quickly flee.
“Run, Dad, and save your life no matter what!
The Communists won’t spare you, let hear me!
Commander’s duty – you fulfilled at last,
We don’t want you killed – let hear us all plea!
You’re not safe but we are, so let’s run fast!”

Image credit
by Nishanth Jois.

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