November 5, 2015
We had a most entertaining and informative program today, presented by C. L. (Jim) Hoang, author of “Once Upon A Mulberry Field”, an historical fiction novel about the Vietnam War.
He is a native of Vietnam and his book is self-published. He came to the U.S. in 1974 after graduating from high school to attend college, arriving on Thanksgiving Day, about six months before the April, 1975 North Vietnam offensive that overran the South. His younger brother escaped in 1980 by sea and was rescued and taken to refugee camp where the Red Cross arranged for him to travel to the U.S. After ten years of red tape, C. L. was able to bring his parents to the U.S. in 1989.
C. L. contacted U. S. veterans to get their perspective on the war and his book is written through the eyes of an American soldier. A story ignored by the media is that of the many servicemen who volunteered their free time to help the locals. As is typical, he found that vets are reluctant to talk about their experiences in the war. Their children, however, are curious about their father’s experiences and he has been contacted by many of them thanking him for writing the book. C. L. is an engineer and he goes by Jim because when he would talk with people on the phone and gave them his name, to them it sounded like Jim. His book is available on Amazon for $15 and it is a must read story.