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Thien Khoc Pham - Immigrant Stories

Pham Thien Khoc served in the South Vietnamese Army from 1967 to the fall of South Vietnam in 1975, then spent a year in a brutal reeducation camp until his health broke and he was unable to work in the camp. He was then released, but was constantly harassed by authorities. In 1978 he decided to change his identity and move the family. Knowing they were constantly at risk, he fled Vietnam in 1989 with his oldest son, and finally made it to a refugee camp in Thailand. In 1996, faced with no good options, he returned to Vietnam with the understanding that American embassy workers would help him leave Vietnam. He and the family were finally able to come to America in 1998.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Paris Peace Accord

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Experiences in Vietnamese Army (ARVN) and in Reeducation Camp

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Hiding from the authorities, escape from Vietnam and emigration to the U.S

Related Materials

See Also

The interview with Patrick Lam in the 'Veterans Remember-Vietnam' project. Mr. Lam served as the interpreter for the interview.

Videos


Photos

Caption

Lieutenant Pham married Nguyen Thin Goc Ouy in 1969 while he was stationed in Quang Tri Province. This photo was taken in 1965 while Miss Nguyen was living in Hue.

Where:

Hue

When:

1965

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Engineer Lieutenant Pham is in the background on the right and partly obscured in this photo, taken while he was stationed in Tam Ke province, near Da Nang.

Where:

Tam Ke province, near Da Nang

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo)

Caption

Pham and his mother, Nguyen Thi Liem on the occasion of his graduation from a South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) military academy in 1967 in Saigon, South Vietnam.

Where:

Saigon, South Vietnam

When:

1967

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Mr. Pham kept this military order announcing his graduation from the Engineer Officer Advance Course located in Saigon in 1974. He hid the order, along with the release from Reeducation Camp, for many years after he changed his identity.

Where:

Saigon

When:

1974

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

The reverse side of Mr. Pham’s release papers from the reeducation camp in 1976. The document provided detailed instructions for Pham, including his requirement to keep the authorities posted on his whereabouts at all times.

Where:

Saigon

When:

1976

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

This is the document that Mr. Pham received from the authorities when he was released from the reeducation camp in Binh Thuan province in 1976.

Where:

Binh Thuan province

When:

1976

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption

Pham’s family in 1990 while they still lived in Vietnam. By this time Pham and his oldest son were living in a refugee camp in Thailand.

Where:

Thailand

When:

1990

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Pham’s son, Pham Ngoc Huy, and a group of his friends in the Thai refugee camp in the early 1990s. Pham is on the left in the back.

Where:

Thai refugee camp

When:

Early 1990s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A picture of Mr. Pham and some friends in the Thai refugee camp in the early 1990s.

Where:

Thai refugee camp

When:

Early 1990s.

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Pham (on the right) and his son Pham Ngoc Huy (on the left) while the two lived in a refugee camp in Thailand, circa 1991-92.

Where:

Thailand

When:

Circa 1991-92

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This is a photo of Pham (on the right) and his son Pham Ngoc Huy (on the left) while in a refuge camp in Thailand, circa 1991-92.

Where:

Thailand

When:

Circa 1991-92

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Pham’s daughter, Corie, stands in front of a Christmas tree at a local church near Saigon in 1993. Corie was born in 1988, shortly before Pham and his son fled the country.

Where:

Saigon

When:

1993

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo




Caption

Mr. Pham’s son with two Swiss foreign students after their return to Vietnam, circa 1997-98.

Where:

Vietnam

When:

Circa 1997-98

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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