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Dat Ly Nguyen
Raleigh, NC, USA

I was born in VietNam in 1971 and was the son of an influencial women and grandchild to one of the wealthiest Vietnamese people. A few days prior to the fall of Saigon a Marines helicopter landed on my Grandmother's Saigon's residence to extract my family and friends of the US supported regime.

My grandfather, a buddhist monk, and my mother stayed to "close" out the businesses of the family. Hoping for a quick a resolution of the business issues, my mother kept me in Vietnam.

The next two years are a blur to me, but my mother related to me that the communists put me in one of the worst schools and that I would be involve in a fight of some sort daily. Repression of memories ain't it great.

In 1977 my mother bought a fake french passport with the family's remaining gold and some jewelry and my name became Rochester Michelesi. Now I was the child of a french photographer and I was leaving my native land with a total stranger.

I lived 5 years in France with my aunts and a short stint in a boarding school, to finally be reunited with my mother and my brothers in Canada in 1982. Since I have graduate from High school, college. Through all this my mother, who has a MBA and was a bamk director, worked as a nanny, a kitchen helper, and managed to raise me and still go to school to upgrade her skills. I now work as an Pediatric Occupational Therapist for the State of North Carolina. As a side story I just met my father last week, he was a colonel in the South Vietnamese army in psych op.


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