Gallery: From Saigon to Eugene, Oregon

On the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, investigative reporter Vicky Nguyen visits the family that sponsored her own family's immigration to America

21 photos
1/21
2/21
My parents’ only “wedding picture” taken in Vietnam, 1976.
3/21
My family's "mugshots" as refugees in at a camp in Malaysia.
4/21
My dad on the right, a medic for the South Vietnamese army.
5/21
My mom holds an ID placard for me in an ID photo at the refugee camp in Malaysia.
6/21
At the refugee camp in Pulau Bidong, Malaysia where I learned to walk. I was there from the age of 8 months to 17 months.
7/21
My parents and me at the refugee camp in Pulau Bidong, Malaysia.
8/21
My family and the Ware family who sponsored us to Eugene, OR in 1980. I’m the kid that looks like a little boy in the red jacket.
9/21
My mom and me at the annual Holt International Children’s Services picnic. Hold International was an international adoption agency. My mother worked for the Saigon branch before Saigon fell.
10/21
My mom working at her desk at Holt International Children’s Services in Eugene, OR, writing letters to thank sponsors.
11/21
Dad holds me in front of the first brand new car we ever bought, a Chevy Chevette. Yes, I have a perm!
12/21
My family experiences snow in Reno, NV!
13/21
My first time in the snow in Reno, NV! Permed hair, don’t care!
14/21
My parents opened “Contemporary Design,” the first Vietnamese-owned furniture store in Santa Rosa, CA in 1987.
15/21
My “blankie” that made it all the way from Vietnam. It was really just half of an old towel.
16/21
I was a thumbsucker until my parents told me it would give me buck teeth. I stopped.
17/21
My legendary perm at age 3 given to me by my Chinese babysitter, who was also a hairstylist. Obviously.
18/21
Mom and me next to our first TV—with a 9 inch color screen—generously donated by strangers who sponsored us to Eugene, OR.
19/21
I’m turning 2! My first American birthday celebration in the Holt International Children’s Services office in Eugene with one of two beautiful homemade cakes.
20/21
Kevin Sweeney, my mom Lien, Cindy Muniz, me, Dean Hale, my dad Huy. These are some of the staff at Holt International Children's Services we first met in 1980 when our family arrived in the U.S. Holt, along with the Ware family, was instrumental in sponsoring our family to the US.
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NBC Bay Area photographer Mark Villarreal and I interviewing Dean Hale of Holt International Children's Services as my dad and Kevin Sweeney look on. Holt and the Ware family sponsored our family to the United States in 1980.
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