"Ong" as we call him, was a decorated colonel in the South Vietnamese Air Force during the Vietnam War. For those of you who don't know a lot about the Vietnam War, North and South Vietnam were fighting against each other because of North Vietnam's push for a communist government. America fought alongside South Vietnam soldiers, including my grandpa.
Ong had a wife and 6 children. Days before the end of the war, Ong sent his family out of Vietnam. He knew that South Vietnam was going to lose the war and didn't want his family to be punished for their support of South Vietnam or for my grandpa's involvement as a colonel. Sending them away, he didn't know if he would ever see them again, as he stayed until the last day to fight for his country.
On the last day of the Vietnam War, Ong along with others, flew his helicopter out of Vietnam. They first tried to go to Saigon, but it was under attack and they weren't able to land. They then proceeded to Vung Tao, which was also being attacked. Finally, they made the decision to fly out to sea. They got permission to land aboard a 7 fleet American ship. There were multiple helicopters, but their wasn't enough room for all of them. One at a time, the helicopters landed and were then pushed off the ship and into the ocean to make room for the next.
There have been multiple news stories and documentaries written about these soldiers- about my grandpa. Most of the time, the Vietnamese soldiers who are talked about remain nameless, because reporters don't know who or where these people are. The reports tell that these soldiers are heroes, as they saved many Vietnamese refugees by landing in various cities to pick up as many people as they could before fleeing the country. But my grandpa has never told me that. He is too humble.
Someday I hope to write the entire story of my grandpa, Trieu "Taylor" Vu, but since it is Veteran's Day, I wanted to write something for and about him. He is a true hero and I am so proud to say he is my grandpa.
Thank you to all the veterans, and to the man that I look up to more than anyone.
This is an actual picture of what my grandpa and the other soldiers did. It is from one of the stories that talks about them.
If you want to read some of the stories I mentioned above, here are a few different links: