Their lives were devastated in a misguided war Cadet Bone Spurs dodged five times. They’ve been here for decades and assimilated into American life. What possible purpose can this serve other than cruel bigotry? Trump Moves to Deport Vietnam War Refugees.
I’ve been thinking a bit at that window. I’ve been reflecting on what the past eight years have meant, and mean. And the image that comes to mind like a refrain is a nautical one – a small story about a big ship, and a refugee, and a sailor.
It was back in the early Eighties, at the height of the boat people, and the sailor was hard at work on the carrier Midway, which was patrolling the South China Sea. The sailor, like most American servicemen, was young, smart and fiercely observant. The crew spied on the horizon a leaky little boat – and crammed inside were refugees from Indochina hoping to get to America. The Midway sent a small launch to bring them to the ship, and safety. As the refugees made their way through the choppy seas, one spied the sailor on deck, and stood up and called out to him. He yelled, “Hello, American sailor – Hello, freedom man.”
A small moment with a big meaning, a moment the sailor, who wrote it in a letter, couldn’t get out of his mind. And, when I saw it, neither could I.
Because that’s what it has to – it was to be an American in the 1980’s; We stood, again, for freedom. I know we always have but in the past few years the world – again, and in a way, we ourselves – rediscovered it. President Ronald Reagan Farewell Address to the Nation, 1989
The White House unilaterally reinterpreted the agreement in the spring of 2017 to exempt people convicted of crimes from its protections, allowing the administration to send back a small number of pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants, a policy it retreated from this past August. Last week, however, a spokesperson for the U.S.