He escaped Vietnam as the war came to a close in 1975 with the help of a CBS News Chief Correspondent named Brian Ellis. 58 year old Liu Khai Trac remembers the exact date he left, even though he was only 17 at the time. Lou, as he is called by friends told me, “I think it was March 27th that I left Vietnam as a refugee.”
During the war, Lou remembers being scared. He said to me on Wednesday, “At one time I recall that the bomb shell was so heavy we had to hide under a bunk bed.” He then talked about seeing a U.S. tank heading down one of the roads in front of his house, “I saw a military tank supplied by the US – they was running on the street – now tanks don’t usually run in the city, but that’s how severe inside the city – and then bomb shell I heard.”
I asked, “Did you like the U.S. Troops?” He smiled and laughed… “As for the American Troops, I thought they were good – They good guy – and especially - they give us a little pack of cigarettes to smoke, a dollar for a soda – they was friendly to us and we was friendly to them.”
Today, Lou is homeless in Murfreesboro, TN.