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A Former Refugee Reflects On The Vietnam War And Starting Over In The U.S.

Lan Cao was sent to the U.S. as a teenager from Vietnam in 1975. At StoryCorps, she tells her daughter about watching the Tet Offensive play out in her city and about adjusting to life in America.
Lan Cao, 53, with her daughter, Harlan, 12, at their StoryCorps interview in Westminster, Calif. in January 2015. During the interview, Lan tells her daughter about her experience during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in 1968. Source: Gautam Srikishan

Lan Cao was just 7 years old when military forces launched an attack in her city outside of Saigon, Vietnam, in 1968. But she still remembers the chaos: the sound of automatic gunfire, the fighting near her house, how the sky lit up at night from explosions.

The North Vietnamese army and the Viet. It was one of the biggest military campaigns of the Vietnam War and it began 50 years ago this week.

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