Pretty cool Mag man. I guy that I sailed with towards the end of my career was a bona fide Vietnamese boat person. He had some pretty interesting stories to say the least. Starting out his saga going on a boat full of strangers at the age of six without his parents as they only had enough money to pay for his passage out. And ultimately having to give up his clothing for a signal fire to attract a ship. Luckily it worked and they were picked up by a Danish merchant vessel in the South china sea. Then some years as essentially an orphan in a Thai refugee camp.My wife, toddler daughter, & I were at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle. A man saw our daughter then quickly looked at us. He said to my wife "Are you a ****" ?? (my wife's last name)
Caught by surprise, my wife said "yes I am!"
He said " yes, I thought I recognized my friend's face in your daughter" Shockingly, the guy had been a friend of my wife's father back in Laos in the late 1960's / early 1970's !!
We got Dad on the phone & they had a audio reunion right then & there. And they have visited each other ever since. Amazing.
He ultimately made it over here and Despite drifting to one foster home after another. Where his Foster parents were clearly more interested in the money that they were receiving to care for him than in promoting his welfare. Eventually he was able to graduate from the United States Merchant Marine academy at Kings point NY and sail as an Engineering officer. Nicest guy that you ever want to meet. The last I talked to him he was sailing as Chief Engineer on a State of the art Cable laying vessel making a six figure income.
As a footnote to this. I might add to mikegc. It was not all in vain my friend. I know that I lot of good people got killed over there. But some good did come out of it.