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Story of a City Boy Who Survived the Viet Nam War by Living for Jesus and Others

by Peter G. Vu

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4575-5816-0
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing

In Vu’s (Lord Jesus, I Want to See…, 2017) biography, a young man flees Communist Vietnam and finds solace in his Christian faith.

Viet grew up in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood, not far from bustling Saigon, which was initially untouched by the disturbances brought to the country by war. But then the bombing campaigns eventually arrived and food rationing became a necessity. Viet’s family, in dire straits, was forced to butcher their beloved dog for food, and to burn paper money for fuel with which to cook. But even after the war concluded, their troubles persisted as the tyrannical Communist regime exacted vengeance upon people who collaborated with the government in the south. When Viet was 5 years old, his father was sent to a labor camp, where he languished under woeful conditions for 12 years. By Viet’s sophomore year in high school, he realized that he would never get full access to educational opportunities, so his parents plotted his escape. Several times, he tried unsuccessfully to flee Vietnam, and once, he ended up in prison. Finally, he was able to find his way out by boat; he survived the threat of pirates and was almost reduced to cannibalism to survive. He was rescued by a South Korean tanker, however, and made his way to Singapore, and then to the United States. There, he was able not only to pursue a college education, but also devote himself to his spiritual life—he eventually became a Catholic priest. Vu’s prose is lucid and unadorned by literary embellishment. Viet’s story is a remarkable one, and it will be impossible for readers not to be gripped by his relentless perseverance. Even more impressively, his spirits rarely seem to sag, no matter what misfortune visits him, and the crux of the tale is not his travails, but the consolations that he finds in his religious faith. Although this is principally a personal remembrance, it also provides a historically fascinating peek into postwar Vietnam; even though the United States was able to eventually extricate itself from the war in 1975, Vietnam’s plight was only just beginning.

A powerful story of overcoming adversity and finding religion.