Aid to Viet Refugees

The article "30,000 Refugees Return to Where Lives in U.S. Began" by Tom Gorman on May 5 gives deserved credit to the Marine Corps and the Department of State for organizing and running the Vietnamese refugee camp at Camp Pendleton 10 years ago.

What about the many religious and charitable organizations whose volunteers found sponsors and did other things to ease the pain of transition? I worked as an unpaid volunteer for the Red Cross Family Reunification project and for the County Department of Education's English Language Program almost every Saturday from April until October, 1975, arising at 5:30 a.m. to make the long drive to Camp Pendleton.

In the beginning there was a lot of chaos, as families had been separated in Vietnam, and some ended up at Camp Pendleton while others went to refugee centers in Florida, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. The Red Cross did a good job of sorting all this out and getting families back together.

Many volunteers had been in Vietnam in one capacity or another, and we felt it was the least we could do to welcome the Vietnamese to our shores.


San Diego

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