35th – UK – Le-Thanh’s Reflections

VN Adoptee – UK 
On Project Vietnam Orphans 1975 organised by Rev Patrick Ashes
Now organiser of Project Return II: Out of the Ashes


My name is Le-Thanh, originally my Vietnamese name was Lê Thành Hung and to my knowledge I was found abandoned on the streets of Saigon where I was taken in by one of the orphanages run by Project Vietnam Orphans (at the time) operated by Rev Patrick Ashes and his fellow care workers.

I was one for 50 orphaned babies airlifted to the United Kingdom through the DailyMail’s Mercy Airlift on April 5th 1975 and was adopted by a Welsh family where I grew up as part of their family. I have spent the most part of my life living and working in the United Kingdom, and though I feel and am honours to be British, I never forget my past, my roots or heritage.

I am passionate about Vietnam, it’s culture and its people. I am also passionate about connecting with other fellow adoptees, who will now be adults – most of whom probably have children of their own. I recently setup a group through FaceBook, Project Return II: Out of the Ashes. With the help of other fellow adoptees including Safi Dub and Emma McCrudden we organise social reunion events for fellow Vietnamese Adoptees and those who were affected by the Vietnam War and living overseas (within or near the UK). However, Project Return II: Out of the Ashes is more than about social gatherings; it’s about connecting with other adoptees; about belonging and about family – all of we we all lost in some part large or small through the effects of the Vietnam War. It gives us a chance to reconnect with each other and a chance to develop new and old friendships.

In April this year, I will be returning to Vietnam and visiting Saigon to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the airlifts etc. Apart from attending the memorial service and paying tribute to those who lost their lives through the war and the fatal Galaxy crash, I’ll also be meeting adoptees from around the world who are all meeting in Saigon.

During this time, Project Return II: Out of the Ashes will be organising two special events in Saigon:-

– Saturday, 3rd April 19:30 : VAD to be Back (evening meal at Ngon’s Restaurant)
– Wednesday, 7th April 10:00: A Walk int he Park (Dam Sen Park, Saigon)

If you were an orphan of the Vietnam War and are attending any of the reunions being held in Saigon during April them please feel free to join us at our event. For more details please contact myself (le-thanh@le-thanh.com). For more information about Project Return II: Out of the Ashes please visit www.le-thanh.com/OutoftheAshes/Welcome.html

Read more at Le-Thanh’s website: l3thanh.wordpress.com