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Xuyen Hoang

In 1974, when I reached eighteen, I married a South Vietnamese combat soldier. Two days after the wedding he went into battle against the Vietcong, leaving me behind. Six months later the war became worse and he decided to come back and bring me out of our small town to follow him anywhere he camped. We rented a little apartment near my husband's camp. I worried that he would die on the battlefield.

 The news spread that the Vietcong were taking over. I felt that there was nowhere else to go and that we were waiting to be killed. On April 28, my husband luckily survived the fighting and went back to our little apartment. Usually the streets were crowded with people, but not that night. The lights in the houses were all turned off and the doors shut tightly. All I could hear was the sound of my heart beat, the whistle of dropping bombs, and the unknown sounds of Vietcong footsteps outside our front door. The radio said the war was getting worse every second. Me and my husband went down a little hole that someone had prepared so that we could avoid the bullets. We lit a candle so we could have some light. Suddenly the earth shook because a large bomb dropped and a piece of mud fell straight into the candle. Once again we were in the dark. I was frightened and held my husband's hand tightly. If we were going to die we wanted to die together. Luckily the sound of bullets and soldiers feet were getting farther and farther away.

 Finally the morning of April 29th came. I peeked out of the door of our apartment to see if anybody was outside so I could ask what happened last night, but no one was there. There were only gray rain clouds. I realized that my husband and I were the only ones still in town. Everyone else had gone to the main city where they could be protected by soldiers.

 My husband and I rushed out, but we didn't know where to go. Eventually we came to a street in the city where everything was really chaotic. People were running and pushing each other. There was smoke from the bombs and there were dead bodies everywhere. The Vietcong had taken over my land on a black day in April.

 Until now the memory of that day still haunts me. My husband and I were lucky though and I thank the lord that we survived heavy war and we still have each other, but I'll never forget the people who have been living without prosperity under the power of the Vietcong.