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Tập truyện ĐÊM ĐEN QUỶ ĐỎ, BƯỚC CHÂN BÊN HỌNG SÚNG, DĨ VÃNG KHÓ QUÊN của nhà văn Hải Quân HĐ Báu đặc biệt dành cho web site 24.

Tấm lòng (thơ NV Hòa-Nha trang)
  Bạn (NV Hòa-Nha Trang VN)
Hạnh ngộ cùng thánh Tổ Trần hưng Ðạo (Hoàng cơ Bình)
Tiếc thương Trần thiện Khải (Thơ Cát Biển)
Thơ Ngô Minh Hằng
Escape from VN-A survivor story (LV Điểu)
Thơ xướng họa
Thơ xướng họa 2 
Hoài cảm (thơ NV Phảy)
Nhập khóa (NV Phảy)   
Lực lượng Duyên Phòng 213 (Cố NT NT Đơn)   
Hữu và tháng Tư ( Nguyễn việt Ân) 
Tình con ( Thơ NV Phảy) 

        My April 30th, 1975 in Saigon

I was born in Saigon when the lasting cruel and deadly war was happening on the
divided country in many years. As a young man with all youth and ideals of duty,
honor and service to the war-torn country, I joined  the South VN Navy in 1970
when I was just 21 years old. At that time I thought that my ultimate goals were
to serve the country, to help the people and to support my family. I studied
hard in schools and graduated number 7 in my Naval Officer Class 23rd. I was
chosen to practice on a destroyer USS Wiltsie DD-716 from the US 7th Fleet in
May 1972, commissioned on several Vietnamese Navy ships and again studied on a
repair ship USS Hector AR-7 at Guam by late 1974.

Freshly returned from Guam on April 13, 1975, I immediately went to the South VN
Navy Headquarter located right next to Saigon river and reported to my superiors
for a next commission or a new assignment when the battles were exploding
everywhere. Chaos started when President Thieu declared to resign on April 21
along with other previously bad news of the withdrawals or evacuation of the
South VN Army troops (ARVN) in Pleiku, Ban Me Thuot, etc

?.I felt that the war
was so close, military information of losing battles was hot, and frightened. I
had witnessed war refugees who were running away from battlefields and I saw
people die and leave the country. Like other Naval officers around, I was in a
wait-and-see situation at the Naval base when about 150,000 North Vietnamese
troops encircled the city. I was very confused in the chaotic and panic world
when enemy gunners had shelled military complex and 5 defected A-37 aircraft
attacked the Tan Son Nhat airport on April 28 then the martial law was declared.
I was frustrated with my superiors because I did not receive any direct order
from them. I watched TV and listened to BBC, VOA radio constantly and hoped for
a miracle. I worried for myself and my family which included my parents, a
brother and a sister. By the night of  April 28, the armada of South VN Navy
ships quietly left the piers at Saigon river without any radio communication
contact when I was holding a M-16 rifle to guard at the Naval base nearby.
The morning of April 29 was horrible and frightened. All military and civilian
piers were crowded and trashy debris with too many scared people who climbed
aboard commercial or military ships, pushed themselves through the gates of the
Navy bases and fought each other. Some mobs started looting the buildings along
Ham-Nghi, Le-Loi, Cuong-De boulevards, and other areas. In the sky, many US
helicopters were flying back and forth. Some explosions with huge columns of
black smoke appeared on the horizon. I was stupid when I cursed some leaving
people and planned to shoot VC with my own hands when they came. I was sad and
numb with the chaotic scene but already decided to stay with my beloved parents
in my hometown because I loved them. Coming home by noon to have lunch with my
parents, a brother and a younger sister, I was unable to swallow rice and quiet.
My parents were silent and worried then suddenly they all looked at me when the
news from the General Supreme Headquarter was broadcast on Radio to order all
military personnel to report to their stations immediately. I quickly changed my
dirty military uniform with a clean one then left the house by my Suzuki scooter
after a brief good-bye to my parents . On the way back to the Naval station. I
witnessed the most terrible scene in my life. Thousands of people massed on
streets and tried to escape from Saigon with any means they could find. The mobs
were looting and robbing others. I heard many shots and loud explosions around
but the Naval base was quiet with only half of personnel inside. I reported to a
commanding officer around 3 PM and was told to wait for a group meeting at 8 PM.
I was killing my time by watching TV for updated news. There were more scary
rumors when someone informed that there was no communication response from
vicinity Naval bases such as Nha Be, Bien Hoa, Vung Tau, etc..? because they
already evacuated. I wondered how they could evacuate when VC were so close and
why it happened so fast then worried for my fate and people around. By 8 PM all
personnel assembled in the conference room and a tired captain announced that we
had to defend this base and ourselves then ordered each of us to get a M-16
rifle and stay in a position right next to defense line on the highest alert
drill. It was the longest, sleepless night and also the last day in my military
life. I was holding my gun and thought about my fate, my parents and a suicide.
By daybreak on April 30, someone said ?good bye? and ?good luck? then quietly
disappeared probably to take care of his wife and kids. We had the last group
meeting at 7 AM when an old captain desperately announced that we were free to
get away and wished us with the best of luck. I returned the rifle and left the
base a moment later but I did not know where to go. In that hot and humid,
sunshine morning, the scary scene of downtown Saigon was horrible in chaos. I
wandered around the Navy Headquarter and Saigon harbor then Ben-Thanh market at
the center of Saigon in the last minutes by my scooter.  The desperate feeling
of losing the war, the 5-year service in Navy, the ideals of the young man and a
decision to stay with my parents and 2 brother/sister were always on my mind and
I realized that tears were on my eyes. I came home around 8:30 AM to hug my
parents and felt exhausted. I changed my Naval uniform cloth with a short and a
T-shirt, looked at it again and started crying. At 9 AM, the Radio broadcast an
announcement of surrender from the new President Duong Van Minh and I knew that
we lost the war forever !
I fought with all my youth during 5 years in the war because I loved my people.
The core reason for my being in Navy was the ideals of serving the country,
completing my duty and helping the people. I fought all I could as a junior
Naval officer and I did more than I had been trained for. At that time I was
furious with my superiors and leaders because of their bad leadership and
corruption and I was angry with American?s deep intervention on the government
in the South and their ignorance on Vietnam people.
I had made up my mind to stay behind from March 1975 when people chose leaving
the country in April 1975 because I thought that I could cooperate with the
Vietnamese Communists to rebuild VN a better country. The personal decision was
the biggest mistake in my life. The price I paid for that mistake was my 3.5
years in the ?re-education camp? in jungles and my parents lost all they had
earned in their life because of my association with the South VN regime and US.
I got away from the ?re-education camp? and disguised myself as a Chinese
Vietnamese in 6 months to rebuild a small boat to carry 424 boat people to
escape from VN for freedom on an incredible 7-day, 7-night journey on the South
China sea in the middle of 1979 (*). I learned invaluable lessons when I was a
?campmate? in several ?re-education camps?, and from all actions (i.e.
re-education, an exodus of boat people, no freedom, no democracy, class
discrimination, one-way governing, etc?) of the Communist government and its
dictatorships in the last 25 years that had proven that we were fighting on the
right side even though we lost the war. With the passage of time and Communists?
human destruction, I forgave all South VN leaders, my superiors, and US
government?s decision-making leaders during the war. I also learned that we
needed America?s generosity and I deeply appreciated their welcome and support
of more than a million Vietnamese on this promised land as well as other
For the South VN arms forces and its allies, their service to the country was
sound and just. I was proud of them and I hope that all survived comrades who
served under the Republic of Vietnam flag and other people shared with me their
pride. I nodded my head respectfully to salute and remember all fallen comrades,
fallen GIs and other soldiers who fought and died for a sacred freedom in
Vietnam. And lastly for younger generations who are enjoying freedom and
democracy in abroad, I hope that they still appreciate their parents?
generation?s sacrifice and remember to help unlucky people who have been
suffering in Communist-controlled Vietnam.
Boston, 07-MAY-2000

Việt Điểu

Note : (*) The story of Escape from Vietnam, a Survivor?s Story was printed in a
special report on Christian Science Monitor on February 1st , 1980.

Tỉnh dậy đi

Như chú bé tiếc hoài con dế nhỏ
Ta ngậm ngùi thương mãi một giòng sông
Như tượng đá bâng khuâng hồn thiên cổ
Ta ôm hồn Do Thái đứng hoài mong
Ôi tổ quốc, quê hương ta sầu hận
Sóng điên cuồng cao ngất ngọn tang thương
Mong đợi mai ngày nước tuần dân vận
Sao bao năm chưa xoay chuyển luân thường
Sao bao năm vẫn làm người vong quốc
Vẫn đớn hèn mộng mị áo cơm
Vẫn phân hóa, không sao đoàn kết được
Vẫn đành lòng bán rẻ cả danh thơm
Vẫn vô tình bán hồn cho quỷ dữ
Mua giàu sang mua ảo vọng công hầu
Quên tất cả lương tâm và lịch sử
Mặc vong tồn cho thế hệ mai sau
Tỉnh dậy chứ sao mê hoài mãi thế
Kìa giống nòi thôi đã quá đau thương
Còn kịp đấy, tỉnh mau đi mà để
Biết rằng mình còn có một quê hương
NM Hằng

Tấm Lòng
(Thơ NV Hòa-Nha Trang VN)

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Như mưa đổ xuống cánh đồng
Trong làn gió cuốn bềnh bồng mây trôi
Thênh thang cao vút bầu trời
Chan hoà ánh nắng nơi nơi hưởng dùng
Tấm lòng hào phóng bao dung
Bàn tay rộng mở ân cần tặng trao
Từ tâm nghĩa cử dạt dào
Dậy men cuộc sống nâng cao ý đời
Chập trùng con sóng viển khơi
Tấm lòng biển cả muôn đời tặng ban

Hoà Nha trang VN

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