Revisiting Vietnam American RadioWorks
  Vietnam Scrapbook

Elizabeth Ellis
Minnepolis, MN, Hennepin

I was a child in Saigon,Vietnam from 1966-1969. I lived there,with my civilian parents at the age of 9 years. My father was a proud pilot for Air America after retiring from the United States Air Force. He flew small planes daily, to places unknown to most, visited by few. Meanwhile, my mother and I filled our time with life, school and living in a city infused by war. I attended an elemtary school run by missionaries, who taught us the basics in education and Vietnamese. Students were from around the world, accompanying their parents as they worked in Saigon. My strongest memories include accompanying my mother as a volunteer "Kool-Aid Kid" to the Hospital, where we would serve cookies and kool-aid to the young casualties of War. They were head to foot in the halls, elbow to elbow in the over populated rooms and always talking about loss and and pain = going home. Dog tags hung from their I.V's, some recognizable some not... "Where you from soldier?", they would ask each other, not able to see one another over their sheets, casts, I'V's and bandages. The names of states would echo through the hallways. I remember the sounds and sights of helicopters flying low over our home, shooting their machine guns, so close I could see the faces of the men hanging out of open doors for air. Shells would fall on our yard, I would wave and duck. The impact,images,sounds,smells,and images of my life in Saigon remain clear to this day. I arrived a fairly innocent child and returned with a life altering awareness of the horrors, fear, injustice, division, unfair realities of living in a city surrounded by war. My parents have returned since, visiting familiar places and the families in our old neighborhood. I return when I share stories with friends of when I was younger and lived in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Peace~



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