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Belinda’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 25 Jan 2005

Location: HCMC, Vietnam

MapI feel so lucky to be an Australian.
Today we met a Vietnamese man who worked with the U.S Army during the Vietnam War. He was 18 when the war ended in 1975, having a wife and three children. He was then sent to a "re-education camp" in rural Vietnam. He compared it to a concentration camp where they survived on rationed food, little exercise, no contact with their families for the first few years, and no indication of when they were to be released. Oh, there was also no trial. He was there for 8 years. When he got out his wife had re-married and his three children had missed the opportunity to go to school.
To this day he has a black mark against his name & has found it near impossible to get regular work. He's an educated man who is fluent in English. His biggest fault is his past, evidently the strong views he has on democracy. He cannot get a passport.
I feel frustrated, sad, fortunate and ignorant. We are very lucky to be Australian.