Commentary: Mr. Hoa Minh Truong’s life journey can be made into a movie. He has lived so many different lives in his lifetime as fate has chosen him to do so. Like most young men in Vietnam, he served in ARVN, which was defeated by the Viet Cong. He was then incarcerated in the re-education camps for 5 years without trials and without the day of release. Despite the bleak future, he was determined to learn English, which was considered a toxic language, in order to let the world know the atrocities and the crimes against humanity practiced by the communists.
“I promised myself, if I stayed alive, I have to write the horror story inside the re-education camps.”
He was released in 1981 and decided to escape Vietnam in search for freedom on those small fishing boats. He later resettled in Western Australia, where he became a journalist. He has never returned to his homeland. “I am a boat person, never to return to my homeland.”
Luckily, he was given the chance to immigrate to Australia, which has been his adoptive country. He has been able to pursue his dream of writing his life experiences and the atrocities of Viet Cong. From a broken English and self-learn English, he has accomplished to publish three books about his life journey. These books are so successful that they are currently displayed at NATIONAL VIETNAM VETERANS MUSEUM in Victoria, Australia.
Despite the hardships and struggles of life, Mr. Hoa Minh Truong has persevered more in determining to accomplish his life goals. Through my interaction with the author, he has a well of history knowledge. He is truly a Vietnamese Hero!
The Dark Journey
Two days after Saigon fell to the communists, Hoa Minh Truong walked along the path leading to the Tan Xuyen village council. He had been there many times during his army service but this time he was filled with fear.
The extra-tight security included a young Viet Cong trooper who clutched a Russian-made AK-47 automatic rifle in his small hands. The gun was just one of many multi-death tools supplied in the name of revolution by the major communist powers to Vietnam’s communists. The trooper could not have been more than fifteen years old.
In the yard next to the building Hoa noticed a huge heap of uniforms, helmets, boots, belts and ammunition. All of these items had been dumped there when the South Vietnam government surrendered and ordered its forces to disarm.
Hoa was on the losing side of the war for reasons that, to him, remained unclear and unacceptable. Now, he and many thousands of others were being forced into so-called re-education camps. Held there without trial, these prisoners faced terrible conditions and cruel punishments. Many did not survive, but Hoa did. In this remarkable book, he offers his story to the world.
About the Author: Author Hoa Minh Truong is a well-published author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry in the Vietnamese language. He now lives in Perth, Australia with his wife and daughter.
From Laborer to Author: The Flowers in Heaven Are Rooted in Hell
Read his amazing true story in his heartfelt book From Laborer to Author: The Flowers in Heaven Are Rooted in Hell.
Survival in Vietnam after the war was hell on earth. Hoa Minh Truong was able to change his life because of the English he learned in a re-education camp after Saigon fell on April 30, 1975.
This is the biography of an astonishing – and stubborn – man. English was banned when the Vietcong launched its counter-revolution culture campaign by collecting English books and burning them. Learning English was dangerous and meant death or torture, but Hoa risked everything and promised to write his story if he survived. His mother wrapped his food supply in dictionary pages that appeared to look like newspapers. As he ate, he quietly learned English word by word.
In 1981, Hoa was released from the camp because of illness. A year later, he escaped to a Malaysia refugee camp, and then resettled in Australia. It took him 25 years, but Hoa wrote his first book, The Dark Journey, in 2010. He wrote Good Evening, Vietnam a year later, and now he has finally completed the book he promised himself he would write.
Good Evening, Vietnam, The Aftermath of an Unknown Journey
The dramatic and sweeping novel Good Evening, Vietnam tells the story of a great love, interrupted by war.
During his tour of duty in Vietnam, a young U.S. chopper co-pilot falls in love with a Vietnamese girl. After his chopper is shot down, he is taken prisoner by the Vietcong. Under a POW exchange in 1973, he returns to America, leaving behind his pregnant girlfriend.
When Vietcong take over Saigon, they imprison hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese who worked with the Americans, force others into the jungles, and denounce the children of U.S. soldiers. Most of these abandoned children were left homeless, some became gangsters, and others joined bandit gangs.
Many years later, the American pilot travels back to Vietnam, hoping to achieve some closure to the past. While there, he is robbed by a gang leader, who takes his wallet. Later, the gang leader looks inside, and finds a surprising photo. Good Evening, Vietnam is the stunning story of a reunion that almost never happened, and a love that endures time and seemingly insurmountable challenges.