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Le Nguyen

He arrived in the U.S. as a refugee on June 19, 1992. He is married and has two children, a boy twenty-two and a girl nineteen. He lives in San Jose with his family.

April 30, 1975. It's twenty years ago, but it seems like yesterday. There are so many things in my mind.

 At that time I was a captain in the South Vietnamese Air Force on duty at Bien Hoa Air Base. I was the last officer to leave the base before the Communists came. But first I had my last consolation; I destroyed my office. I did it because I did not want to leave anything in my responsibility to the enemy. It was an image I've never forgotten. I stood alone to see my office on fire with tears in my eyes. I had lost everything; my country and my freedom.

 A few weeks later, I was sent to a "reeducation camp" where I spent five years of my life. It was a real hell on earth.

 Then I had twelve years to live in my country under Communist rule before I arrived in the United States as a refugee in 1992. And twelve years is long enough to know a lot about the Communists. I think I could be a witness. I know very well the answer to the question, "What did the Communist Party do for Vietnam?" Unluckily for Vietnam, they made it one of the thirteen poorest countries in the world because they made money for themselves on the blood, bone, sweat, and tears of their poorest fellow citizens.

 April 30, 1975 was a black day for 70,000,000 Vietnamese in their country and 2,000,000 Vietnamese outside their country.