Here Lai’s Our Truth: Hoa

“[I] never had a desire to look for him.”

It’s been 36 years since I came from Vietnam, I was ten years old. Growing up in Vietnam was not a good experience… I felt like an outsider because I was Mỹ Lai , the kids in school and my neighbors were not nice to me. I do not have good memories growing up there.

I met the qualifications to come to the US because my father was a soldier, “Gieng Con Lai,” they called it.  It was an adjustment when my mother and I arrived.  We didn’t speak a word of English.  We didn’t know anything about the culture and we didn’t know anybody here. We found a Vietnamese association and met some friends and that’s how our lives began in the U.S.  We had to go to school to learn English and the American culture. I consider America as my home.

I’ve never met my real father and never had a desire to look for him. I still have family back in Vietnam, I do go back there to visit but I would not want to live there. I made a life for me in the U.S. and I prefer to live and die here.

I would like to thank “Cô Hoa” for sharing her story. She has chosen to remain anonymous, and tell her story under a pseudonym. Thank you for sharing your story and giving a different Mỹ Lai narrative. This shows us how diverse the community is.