A Vietnamese Refugee Tells Her Story
"In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, thousands of so-called "boat people" fled Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, often in small overcrowded ships that were barely seaworthy. The story of Linda Thong, while horrific, is not unusual. Refugees often encountered pirates while sailing the dangerous South China Sea. Survivors usually ended up in refugee camps in Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, or the Philippines, where they were forced to remain for months, sometimes years. Once in the United States, the Vietnamese boat people faced the same obstacles as other immigrants, struggling to learn the language and gain an economic foothold. Linda Thong's story ends happily for her and her family, suggesting a new chapter to the American immigrant success story."