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Xuan (Spring) Kim Nguyen

Xuan (Spring) Kim Nguyen

From Bombs to New Beginnings

As Told By: Xuan (Spring) Kim Nguyen

Spring Xuan Nguyen shares various aspects of her life, including childhood memories in Vietnam, family, school experiences, and relationship with her father. She recalls  her neighborhood in Vietnam, helping her mother in their shop, and her involvement in school activities. Nguyen shares her unique family background, including her father's Cambodian heritage and her multicultural upbringing, which involved learning multiple languages. She reflects on her relationship with her father, including his absence during her childhood. Despite challenges, she expresses admiration for her father's strength and the lessons she learned from him.

Nguyen worked for Americans during the Vietnam War as a secretary handling classified documents. She recounts vivid memories of living through bombings, evacuating her home, and ultimately fleeing the country with her mother. The emotional toll of leaving everything behind left her homesick and scared during the chaotic evacuation. Despite the challenges, she shares moments of kindness and unexpected generosity from strangers amidst the turmoil of war and displacement.


  • My Name is Xuan (Spring) Kim Nguyen
  • I am based in Oklahoma City, OK
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  • Departure Location: Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Departure Year: 1975
  • Camp 1: Guam (United States)
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  • Resettlement Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
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    My Story

    00:00 / 01:04

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:00:00] My full name. By the Vietnamese way or by American way? 

    Interviewer [00:00:03] Both. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:00:03] Both. Okay. Vietnamese way is Nguyen Kim Xuan. That mean Ly Kim Xuan before I marry. 

    Interviewer [00:00:09] Okay. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:00:10] And then, American is Xuan Kim Nguyen. Okay. That the my, marry name. 

    Interviewer [00:00:16] Okay. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:00:17] Yeah. 

    Interviewer [00:00:17] And, where were you born? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:00:20] Kiên Giang province, province, South Vietnam. 

    Interviewer [00:00:23] South Vietnam. What year were you born in? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:00:26] 1950. 

    Interviewer [00:00:27] 1950. When you think about your childhood in Vietnam, what do you remember the most? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:00:36] Well, you know, I. I when I was kid. I, joined the, the temple activity. Because I'm a Buddhist. And, I joined the club for singing and, that broadcast every weekend. And then we. I help my mom because she have a little shop in front of. My grandma owned a barber shop, and my mom have a little shop in front of the barber shop. So I help them to sell, you know, make a profit for mom before I start to work. So after school and come home and help them for selling stuff and do thing. You know, a lot of things. And I've been help a lot of neighbor, you know. Because I, when I was kid, I was strong. And, you know, most of Vietnamese kid, they kind of tiny thing. And I'm not that type, you know, I'm, I'm kind of different, you know? So I help a lot of people lifting up for all the elderly people to go to hospital, all kind of thing. I do a lot of thing for neighbor and, for community. When I was a kid. 

    Interviewer [00:01:59] What was your neighborhood like? What was your neighborhood like in Vietnam? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:02:04] Oh. Because we have business. All my neighborhood they have their own barber shop. Barber shop and because my my grandma live in the central. So we have all business there. All the barber shop next door barber shop, in front barber shop and the book store and the, you know, the Honda repairman store. So that's why we work together and we play with all my young friend there. You know. We grew up together. 

    Interviewer [00:02:41] And do you have brothers and sisters?  

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:02:44] Have none. I'm the only one. I'm the only child. 

    Interviewer [00:02:46] Okay. And what was school like in Vietnam? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:02:50] What? 

    Interviewer [00:02:50] What was school like? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:02:52] The school? 

    Interviewer [00:02:53] Yeah. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:02:53] Oh. I was being elected to be the, like in here, they call the president for class. You know, I would been elected when I was in the elementary school. And I work as a leader. Help other students. You know, some students, they so shy. They cannot talk for themselves. And I only one to talk for them. And, that's why they all. I have a big election, voted, you know. So, all my teacher, you know, when you a leader and you do something wrong, right? So you get more spanking than the other kid the kid have one spanking, but I have two. Because you a leader. You should know what to do. So anyway, that's what I got. And then some of my teacher, actually, she hit my head, andI. With my nose with blood. 

    Interviewer [00:04:02] Oh my goodness. When was this? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:04:04] I don't know what happened. How old? I think maybe I was second grader. First or second grader. And my teacher was so. She was shocked. This she can't believe it. All the blood can't stop. And, you know, they give me a two piece of chalk. 

    Interviewer [00:04:22] To stop the bleeding? Chalk? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:04:24] Because they don't have, you don't have a dispensary, you know, school, you know, they don't have that kind of stuff. Like here they have nurses. No, we don't have it. So we do our own. So she put for me two piece of chalk. Like an elephant. To stop. And she had everybody let me lie down the front at the front row so I can relax, you know, and stop and give me some ice to stop me. And then they send me home. Oh, I have a lot of stuff. When I went childhood. So. 

    Interviewer [00:04:55] Was this school big or small? Was it a small school? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:04:58] Yeah. It small. Well, in my hometown they have a female school and a male school, so female all female in elementary school. And the male is all male. So when you go to junior high and you mix, have female and male together. But when elementary school, they call it trường nữ that mean for women only. 

    Interviewer [00:05:27] What were your parents like? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:05:28] Oh, my father, he's is half Cambodian. He have Cambodian and he have some, I don't know, French or something. So, he left for the country because, he thing when he go back to Cambodia it his life would be better because economy, all kind of thing. And he would, he was detective, classified for detective. So, so he moved there, and my mom and I will move to Cambodia. Daily I have to study three languages. 

    Interviewer [00:06:14] So your mom was Vietnamese. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:06:15] Yeah. My mom, Vietnam, and I have to study Vietnamese, French, and Cambodian. So, three languages today. 

    Interviewer [00:06:23] You still speak the three languages? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:06:28] Well definitely not that. Because, you know, when you read the foreign language, you don't practice. You know, you don't remember that much. When I was there, you know, and then my mom took me home without his permission and because she have a homesick. So she took me home, and then I didn't know that time. I was maybe four grade or something. I went with her. So my father got upset because. Without his permission and without his knowledge. You know, just took me home. So then. And he was upset. So he didn't. He didn't check on us. So finally then my grandfather passed away. So my mum had to be stay there because the, the funeral and all that thing. And we forgot our passport will expire. So we cannot do anything. And he didn't help us. So we stay there until the sixth grade. I think the fifth or sixth grader. Finally he contacted us and we didn't go by the legal way. We go to. We went to the border. This is like in here, you know when the border. Because I know my father working right in the border. So that's why he said, go ahead and go to the border. So we crossed the border. When we got there, my mom brought me there. I think I was a fifth or sixth grader. So I thought maybe I talked to all my friends by, you know, this time, I have to go back with my father. So, when I went back to see him and he had mistress. 

    Interviewer [00:08:16] He had a mistress? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:08:18] Yeah. So my mom kinda disappointed. So it wasn't his fault, you know, because she took me and then kept me for several year. You know, he can be lonely by himself, so I to me right now, I'm old enough to see that not the point, but my mom really upset. So. So she, she. And then, my father asked me one night, he asked me, he said, what do you think about if you stay with me? Or you stay with mom? And I told him I like to stay with mom because if she's sick, I can help her. But if you sick, I cannot help you. You know. And she said, well, he said, it's mixed in, but your choice. So that's why, you know. And then when I went home. This is the second time I went home and this time my mom never came back. And then, I started to work for American and for my hometown. And I start to work 1973, 1974 to defend attach office in Saigon and, finally. My uncle came home and told me he saw in a newspaper my father was Cambodian ambassador. He said, I saw your father, and I was so excited. And I talked to my boss, and. And that time I prepare everything to see him. And then, he send a chauffeur to take me to the office to meet him. 

    Speaker 4 [00:10:08] Her friend. The friend did? 

    Interviewer [00:10:09] Yes, yes. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:10:09] And then I went to the embassy. I see my father name. Everything. Oh my heart which, you know, beat so fast. And then, finally, I waiting for him. And he came. It wasn't him. He has same last name, same first name with my father. And he was my father best friend. 

    Interviewer [00:10:30] Oh, and they have the same name? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:10:31] Yes. Same name. It's weird. Same name, same last name, same first name. So I thought my father were ambassador. So when I see him, he said if I know. He talked to me very nice. He talked in Vietnamese to me. And he said, if I know you, his daughter, I will send you for his last visit. Because your father was sick and he passed. And if I know you, I will send a helicopter to take you there. So in Vietnam, you know, for the moment, morning. Is that what it call? 

    Interviewer [00:11:08] Mourn? Yes. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:11:11] Yeah. I respected him, so I wear black and white for whole one year. Everything black and white. I don't wear any color for respect for my father. 

    Interviewer [00:11:24] So when was the last time you saw him? When you. How old were you, that one last time. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:11:27] Like I was, I think, a fifth or sixth grader. 

    Interviewer [00:11:29] Fifth or sixth grade. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:11:30] I remember that time. 

    Interviewer [00:11:31] And that was the last time you saw him?

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:11:32] Yeah, that was it. So, when I came, you know, I was happy because I saw my picture was on his living room and everything. I said, oh, make me feel good. But his mistress, she older than me, maybe only ten years older than me. I think she about 23, if I'm not mistaken. She about 23. And she talked to my father is so sweet. And then my mom don't do like that. 

    Speaker 3 [00:12:03] Did they have kids, mom?

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:12:06]  No. I didn't know after we left. I don't know anything about him. We lost contact since then, so I don't know. And then my mom went home. Oh my goodness, she was so upset. She got all his picture away. 

    Interviewer [00:12:20] When your mom found out that your father had passed how did she react?

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:12:25] Oh, yeah. She was sad too. Yeah. She was sad. She's not working, she's at home. But, I wear black and white and she respect that. So. Yeah, that was it. 

    Interviewer [00:12:40] Do you have a photo of your father? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:12:41] Yes, I do.

    Interviewer [00:12:42] You do. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:12:43] I have photo. Yes I do. 

    Interviewer [00:12:44] Okay. We should scan that later. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:12:46] Yeah, yeah. And, my father, that picture. My father friend son. He gave to me because my mom destroyed all his picture, so I don't have any. So that the one he gave me. So that's the that's the only one I have. 

    Speaker 4 [00:13:07] Is that the one that hung up? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:13:08] Yes. Yeah. So he he very good looking. Yeah, man. He tall, real tall. And, to me, I think he's very handsome. But he very, strong person. I remember when I was kid in the elementary school, you know, like a kid bowling. You know, I come home and I cry, you know, I come home, I cry, and he spanking me. I said, that doesn't make any sense, you know, I'm the victim, but he spanking me. He say, we cannot stay with you in 24 hour. You have to stand up for yourself. Now I see that before I didn't know why. You know, you victim, you come home and cry. You know, because you been bullying and thing. And he's spanking. And I say how in the world that happen like that. But this an after, you know, a year later than I find out. Then after that, believe me, I'm very strong woman. After that, I stand up for myself. I stand up for people around me who ever be a victim. I know that, believe me, no more. 

    Speaker 4 [00:14:26] She's very good at standing up for people in the kindest way. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:14:29] Yeah. 

    Speaker 4 [00:14:30] She's not. She's never vicious. She's never mean. Yeah. She's never. She doesn't usually raise her voice outside of the four children. Yeah, but she has. I don't know if it's from being raised as a Buddhist, but she has absolutely conducted herself, always with class and elegance. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:14:47] I was that. I would train myself strong woman because I have to protect my mom. I'm only child. And you know, when I work for American. 

    Interviewer [00:14:56] Can you tell me what you did for, when you worked with the Americans. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:14:59] I work for American. All I do was. I make all the report for the, from, Vietnam to US. We have one to come from, room like that for the contact for we send a telegram everything directly to the US. Okay. And, you know, and then, the time before we leave, the country. I was, I was secretary. But I carry all my classified, documents because I have paper. All my test all kinds of tests for, what do you call, secret, you know. 

    Interviewer [00:15:40] Clearance? Security cleanrance. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:15:42] Yeah, something like that. And, they have one in Washington, D.C. and one in Thailand. That's all my name in there. So, so they allow me to carry all the documents from this building to all the building to office to office. So, you know, not everyone can do that. 

    Interviewer [00:16:02] How old were you when you started the job?

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:16:04] I think maybe 23 or. Oh, wait a minute. I started in 1970. I was 20 years old. 

    Interviewer [00:16:16] 20 years old. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:16:17] I was born 1950. 20 years. I left country when I was 25. 

    Interviewer [00:16:24] So there was a war going on. What do you remember during that time, with all the conflict? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:16:32] Oh I remember 1968. That was. That's the only time, only war. I remember because they did come in and send a rocket to my house. Back from. But in that time I we were in the bunker. Under bed. That's why I talked this for my memoir, for my kid to see, you know, and then I have. I stayed at the bunker, and then they send a rocket into my. In 1968. I remember that time. 

    Interviewer [00:17:05] Do you remember how you felt? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:17:08] Because I hear the sound, you know, and the like a lightning. They send a rocket like, look like a pineapple. You know, like the pineapple. The core. 

    Interviewer [00:17:20] Yes. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:17:21] Exactly like that. I remember that. And then, from there to here, you know, because we. The front of my house is the business, the back we live. Okay? And up there we have upstair, you know, we can some guests can sleep up there and, you know, and here the kitchen as well. We don't have room, room, room, you know, but that's what we did. And they send a rocket right there. 1968. 

    Interviewer [00:17:49] Was it just you and your mom at home? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:17:51] Yes. And grandma. 

    Interviewer [00:17:52] And grandma. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:17:53] That house, it wasn't for us. My grandma. My grandma owned a body shop, a front. My mom have a bazaar. Bazaar up front. That this little, you know, store. And we sell cologne and perfume and shoes and things, you know, and I make very good business because the way I talk to people, they want to buy a one item. But when I talk and they buy couple. 

    Interviewer [00:18:19] You're a good salesperson.

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:18:20]  Yeah. And then they told my mom, she said this girl should have a big store because she's very good sell, you know. And. Oh, I have, I have a lot of compliment about my business there. So soon I starting to work. I lost all the. My mom lost most of the customers. 

    Interviewer [00:18:44] Yeah. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:18:44] Customer. 

    Interviewer [00:18:45] So when the bomb hit next to your house today, did it ruined your house? And your shop? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:18:48] Yeah, in my kitchen. Big hole, big hole. But underneath that because they shoot underneath there. And you know, divan, divan from the top. So nobody in the back, in the kitchen, we are all in the bunker under bed. Yeah, so that was. I remember that. And really loud. I never forget. That's just like in Oklahoma here. It's like a thunderstorm, I mean, a tornado. Same sound. 

    Interviewer [00:19:16] Yeah. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:19:17] Same sound, like tornado. 

    Interviewer [00:19:18] What did you do that day after you got out of the bunker? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:19:21] You know, we were in curfew. Because new year. Curfew. And, I remember, my grandma show me how to make the food for the New Year, preparation for New Year. And then, normally my grandma make, not that much, but that year, she have feeling she make a lot. So we can give to neighbor. Oh. Provide all family and neighbor. Everybody have food because the curfew. Everybody stay inside cannot go. But next door we can, you know. That's what we did. 

    Speaker 4 [00:20:00] Mom, was that was it at night time when it happened? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:20:04] Yes, they. But the daytime. Because you stayed in the bunker for all night. In the morning, you you didn't know that your house, you know, in the morning. You come. 

    Interviewer [00:20:16] Saw it destroyed. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:20:16] Yeah. Big hole like that. Yeah. That was, that was. 

    Interviewer [00:20:20] Did you continue to live there? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:20:22] Yes. Oh, yeah. We fix that, believe me. Business up front. Yeah. So I remember, I never forget in 1968 it really  because Tết Mậu Thân

    Interviewer [00:20:32] Yes. Yeah. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:20:33] Really bad. So, I have a friend. She live across the street from me. Now she live in Sacramento. We grew up together, and, we. For the new year. We wear the old clothes and then we rod motorcycle. To run. You know, I didn't know. The pack of, the body. Dead body right in front of the province ship. You know, in the building, we drove, motorcycle. And me and my friend just got this smell. But they put powder already. The piled up people there. So I don't know that the communists or what. But we smell them. And I said to my friend, I say, God, where that come from. We keep follow our nose. Go. And we saw all pile up, you know, all the white, just like, salt, you know. So we hurry and we came back and, you know, and we didn't say anything about that. This was scary. But now, she live in Sacramento now. So we every time we talk about. And then we come home, we change new clothes. We always do that. 

    Interviewer [00:21:53] Because of the smell?

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:21:53] Traditional. We were friends, you know, sincet she was five, six years old. 

    Interviewer [00:22:00] So did you have any extended family or friends that had to fight in the war? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:22:07] My uncle was, he was a captain. 

    Interviewer [00:22:11] On your mom's side? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:22:12] Yes. My mom had only one brother. 

    Interviewer [00:22:14] Oh, okay. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:22:16] My family, very small. 

    Interviewer [00:22:17] Small compared to back then.

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:22:19] My mom, has only one brother, I have none. Oh, I have his cousin and my cousin working for a military, like I don't know how it in, you know, communication with office and something like that. And they mark the area where they fight and I mean. Like, an operation. 

    Interviewer [00:22:51] Yes. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:22:52] Thing. Yeah. 

    Interviewer [00:22:54] And that your uncle was. That was his role? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:22:56] No, my cousin. Oh, yeah. My uncle was, he was the captain. And he was, he, I don't know what, he was training some for people, military trainer or something like that too. 

    Interviewer [00:23:14] Around this time you were in your 20s? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:23:17] Yes. 

    Interviewer [00:23:17] In the early 70s. Did you have conversations about what was happening in Vietnam with your friends? Like what was going through your mind? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:23:27] Well, you know, when I was young, I don't think about the war. I was scared, that's all I did, you know? And, my mom never let me reach out to people from outside that much. Even, when I was kid. My mom watch me. Everything. I play. I cannot. I cannot go out with friend overnight. I cannot. You know, hankie panky, you know. 

    Interviewer [00:24:02] So, no boyfriends? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:24:03] No, no, no boyfriend. No boyfriend. No boyfriend. But, you know, that's what my mom always like that. And I remember. This is funny story when I was in, I don't know, maybe on the fifth grader and, you know, the president, tổng thống Diệm, you know? Yeah. He planned to come to our province. So. It's so funny. My. I am the girl, but I play hard like boy, you know? So I don't have very much of uniform, like a black pant and white shirt. You know, I don't have that much. I use them all, you know? But then now I know the, unfortunately, the president will visit tomorrow. I don't have anything left. You know what I did. And my pant would tear. I don't know how to sew. I put the. 

    Speaker 4 [00:25:03] Safety pin? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:25:03] Yeah. The pin around that. 

    Interviewer [00:25:08] That tear? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:25:08] Yeah. And you know what happened. And they will make announcement that the president was delayed. I stand up the whole time. You know, I stand up the whole time. My friend said, how come you didn't sit down? You know, because I have pin all over. I never forget that. And I say I'm okay. I'm okay. You know, but anyway. So when they push me down,  oh my God, the pin all would pinch me. 

    Speaker 4 [00:25:42] Now, I know why you married dad. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:25:44] That's funny. 

    Speaker 4 [00:25:45] Cause he came from a long line of tailors. Somebody had to sew her pants. 

    Interviewer [00:25:50] Handy skills. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:25:51] Yeah. 

    Interviewer [00:25:51] What did you think about the president at the time? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:25:54] And that time, you know. I heard on the radio and things, you know, and, I know at. He was a Catholic. And, you know, when I was kid, you know, not like kid here. You don't know very much about the war and. 

    Interviewer [00:26:17] A lot more innocent. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:26:19] No, you don't pay attention for that stuff. I don't think, you know, I don't think I interesting for that kind of stuff. All I interesting was working and activity school and do for the temple and all kind of things, you know, but not political. I don't know. When I worked for American then I realized that. You know, before we left for country, I destroy a lot of document. Oh, then I said, whoa, you know, I didn't. 

    Interviewer [00:26:49] At the company?

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:26:49] A whole family, you know, their family and everybody. The all paperwork. That's what I have try to read, you know, because I never know that them that much. I don't pay attention. You know. 

    Interviewer [00:27:02] So, at what point did you start paying attention though. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:27:06] Well, when the country, people, kind of panic for. 

    Interviewer [00:27:11] When did the panic start happening? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:27:13] Yeah, yeah. Before happening. And I say, you know, then I told my mom. I said, mom, I have a feeling, we. I just bought the house.

    Speaker 4 [00:27:25] Did you remember when this was? Do you remember the year? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:27:27] In 1975. Yeah. I bought the house not too long. You know, in Vietnam, you buy the house, you pay cash, you don't pay, like here. You not.  

    Interviewer [00:27:35] There's no mortgage. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:27:36] No. Not mortgage. You still mortgage that you not your own house. This I pay cash. So I just bought the house not too long. We were so happy and proud. My mom were proud me because I bought the house and everything. And then suddenly, you know, we leave, you know, and and my mom said, you go. You go and and then you come back and pick me up. I say, mom, I don't feeling we're not. I'm not coming back. I have feeling because every day I type the message to US. 

    Interviewer [00:28:07] Do you remember in April what day you started? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:28:09] The 23rd. 

    Interviewer [00:28:10] On the 23rd, you started feeling.

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:28:11] I left home the 23rd. 

    Interviewer [00:28:13] So you're typing news for them? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:28:16] No. I typing that a week before. 

    Interviewer [00:28:18] A week before the 23rd?

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:28:20] Yeah. But you know is is so funny. I, I heard a rumor. I said. If you're not married, they're not allow you to go with your mom or parent. You have to go with the spouse or your directly kid. And I was so worried about it. One morning. Because all my American coworker, they all passed away on airplane crash. You know when to carry the airplane with orphan. 

    Interviewer [00:28:56] Operation baby lift. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:28:57] Yes. They all die. Yes. And I'm the only one left for that operation center. 

    Interviewer [00:29:03] Wow. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:29:04] I have to work day and night. So, you know, and. I work all day and all night, and I see, you know, at night, I open the next door, I see all the, I don't know, American officer or anyone. Whole families. 

    Interviewer [00:29:24] Leaving? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:29:25] No, they sleep there.  

    Interviewer [00:29:27] Oh, sleeping at the office? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:29:30] Yeah. A lot. I went to go restroom. I want to walk across the room. I didn't realize they all. Oh, and. I told my mom. I said, mom, I don't think we stay here. I have a feeling something going on here. So we better prepare something. And then my mom said, oh, you go on. You come back. I said, mom, I have no feeling we're not coming back. And. And I say, well, I don't know what to do, but I work late and late late. And then I just, finished my work, and then I go home. During the curfew, you know. And I went home, and I just sleep about a few hours. Then the shuffle came over, knock on my door. They say, the boss want you leave now. If you don't, you leave by boat. That what he said to me. And I say, what? He says go so you better leave now. The boss said, if you're not going now, you go by boat. Then my mom wasn't home that time. She went to grocery. 

    Interviewer [00:30:38] What about your grandmother? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:31:34] No, grandma in a home town, you know, Vietnam. In south, in Kiên Giang Province. I live in Saigon capital now. I work right here in capital. So, I told my mom. I asked a neighbor, looking for my mother at the grocery, and, you know, I was so panicked. I don't know what to do. That's why the dragged the tennis racket right there. And I just walk to. I didn't. My mom lost. We, a tree, a ring, a diamond. You know, we don't have very much diamond, you know? My mom had that. And then she keep. She put one day display, one day for another place, and she don't remember where she put them. When the last minute. So that was it. You know, we lost all the stuff. What we have. So I carry you know, I carry my racket and a little bit close and that's it. 

    Interviewer [00:31:37] But why the tennis racket? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:31:39] Because hanging right in the door, you know? But the racket is for my American college. She treat me like daughter. She send. She pay for me the tennis lesson. She pay me clothes and everything. She. When she came home and she brought me everything that she want. She want me to have that. And she said. She told me. It's so funny. She told me. She say, I want you to learn tennis. Because in Vietnam, people learn tennis only rich people. And she want me to be married with the rich people. That's what she told me. And I didn't, you know. But I like them because I like sport, but I don't think about to play and to get involved with the rich people. But she said, no, I want you to do that. You listen to me. That's what she told me. But she died on an airplane. 

    Interviewer [00:32:43] Oh, she died?

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:32:43]  Yeah. That's why in my mind. That racket from her. She brought from home. That's why I carry. Nothing else. I didn't carry anything else. All my jewelry. And I don't know where it is.

    Interviewer [00:32:58] But you found your mom? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:32:59] Yes. My mom came home and she was panicked, and she. We tried to wash a big load clothes, but still wet. And she didn't. We didn't care. We have to leave. So I called my uncle and left. Because that time I didn't know how to notify them. To notarize him for that. How, you know, belong to him? So I told him my mom lost her diamond ring somewhere in the house. You can look and that for you. And you know, I shall show him that. And then, my motorcycle, I say this is for you. And keep that thing. Keep that house. If I come back, we can have that. And when we and the communists took over, they took that. They say we not notarized him, because I didn't know. Yeah, I lost that house. My uncle. I don't know, he found the diamond ring or not. I have no idea. But, when I left, we lost contact for at least a couple of years. 

    Interviewer [00:34:07] With your uncle. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:34:08] Yeah, because I cannot communicate. And. My hometown. Well, I came back and visit my cousin. 2006. It's first time. 

    Interviewer [00:34:24] Yeah. When you. So you got your mom on that plane? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:34:27] Yes. 

    Interviewer [00:34:28] Was it. Did you leave 23rd or 29th? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:34:31] Yes, 23rd. I left, I took her with me. I say, mom, if you're not going, I'm not going because I don't want you die here. But, you know, because we work late hour. In the morning, I still working. And then I was sitting in my desk. I cry, and some of the admiral from Pacific, you know, general, he saw me, because my operation on the, what it called, the country. And he saw me crying in my desk. I was sitting my desk because I think about three, four o'clock in the morning, he say, why are you crying? Who. Why? Are you hurt or something? I say no, I heard a rumor. It said that your mom cannot come with you. Only husband or kid. You know, he said no, no, no no, no. We take care of you. Don't you worry about it. You priority one. You not worry about it. You and your mom will come first. That's what he told me. He promised me that my mom come along. And then she did. She came along with me, and. First she didn't want to. Because, she we just bought the house. You know, it's hard to buy the house. We bought the house. Now she leave, you know, without anything. So. But now, when she come back to Stillwater with me, she said, I'm glad I came with you because we're not going back. You know? 

    Interviewer [00:36:07] Do you. When you got on that plane with your mom? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:36:10] Yes. 

    Interviewer [00:36:11] Do you remember what you were feeling? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:36:13] Yes, I was feeling homesick. You know, I have a. I feel homesick. And, you know, I remember the, caribou. Is that right? Caribou? The airplane for the big one. What they called? 

    Speaker 4 [00:36:28] Cargo? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:36:29] Cargo. But they called a different name. They have different name for military, but big, big one. We all in there. And you know what? In the mid, in the morning, we hear the sound like airplane were dropping. You know what? The husband carry two wife. 

    Interviewer [00:36:53] So what happened? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:36:55] They fight. They fight an airplane and everybody was fall asleep. You know. We just relax. And here it is. The first wife fight with the mistress. Oh my gosh, they fight and oh I was scared to death. And, you know, the airplane have no seat. You know, we sit on the floor and, everybody a sound sleep, you know, and it rrrm, you know, like that. They both fighting. 

    Speaker 4 [00:37:27] Who won? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:37:28] Just like that? I don't know, I don't, I don't know. 

    Speaker 4 [00:37:31] He didn't. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:37:32] But that time, we were so scared. I say, man, they fight and find out. First and second wife fight. And they carry with them to the camp too. 

    Interviewer [00:37:45] Yeah. Did you go to. What camp did you go to? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:37:48] Well, first I stay in Guam. Right. Okay. I help doctor to interpreter for all the Vietnamese refugee. And then. And then my turn get sick. You know, I afraid to talk with them. I talked to the lady and I said, well. Because I have, what you call woman sick, you know, because from. Homesick and something like that. But anyway, I talk. I say no, I need a woman doctor to talk. You know, I talk with her. And after that, they give me medicine. Everywhere I stop they supply for me until again. And I stay in Guam. I have met a first lady. Guam. But in that time, I didn't know she was a first lady. She was so nice. And we talk about it. I told her what I'm. About me and my mom. I have no comb, no brush, no toothbrush, no nothing. Boy, I'm tell you two, one hour later, she bought me whole big bag, comb and rip and everything so pretty. After that I don't want. To wear that because it's so pretty. Have lays, kind of thing. But I didn't know she was a first lady. But, you know, I wish that time we have camera, you know? Well, she was very nice. And now I heard about, that she and her husband help a lot of Vietnamse people at that time. 

    Interviewer [00:39:24]  Did they take you to Arkansas? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:39:26] No. I went to Camp Pendleton. 

    Interviewer [00:39:28] Okay. California? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:39:29] Yeah, California. For the marine headquarters, something like that. Yes. And, when I came. It was too cold for me because on the mountain and when we got in the bar in the morning. So they show us where to stay and spend in the morning. I lie down then and and then the morning. They want to transfer for the permanently a room. I said, no, I don't want to go anywhere. I said, you carry me, but I cannot move. You know, my mom said, come on, let's go, you know. I said, mom, I cannot move. And then so they had to carry my. What it call. The military bed. Carry me to different. I cannot move. It too cold for me. It was too cold. And then, you know, I remember my skin. It was flaking. Flaking from the dry and the water and everything, you know, and my mom and I was. And, you know, the grass, bout this high. This high. And my bed bout this high. And everywhere I go restroom. I afraid to snack or something. You know, because we look, you know. And then my mom and I decide to go to take a shower really early, 5 o'clock. We have to go there and take showers that only have hot water. Otherwise later they don't have it. And when. You know, the Red cross came and gave me some clothes and, because I'm a good size for Americans, so I don't have to need to know alterations. You know, like, for you, you have to do this and do that. But for me, what everything they gave me, it fit me. So I don't have to do that thing. So I carry that with me to Stillwater. And, when I came to Stillwater, my sponsor picked me up from Tulsa. And then from Tulsa. They rode me to their summer house. A summertime house. And so we stayed there. And then they rented us apartment. And, when I was in California, I was collecting my last paycheck. They. Equally with a dollar for my reduction in force. How many years I would service them. 

    Interviewer [00:42:10] Oh, in vietnam? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:42:11] Yes. In Vietnam. And then they gave me the last paycheck. I receive about three, four hundred dollars in 1975. That's pretty good. So I bought for my mom a cassette, small cassette, so she can listen. Khánh Ly music type thing, you know. And I bought her a umbrella and that cassette and then all the rest. When I came to still wate, I did. My sponsor, helped me to open my account. That's why I got that account there from Stillwater. My first bank there. And, but, you know, I took test. They let me rest, but I don't want to rest too long. I took a test at the Oklahoma State University and mutation there. I took tests and everything. Because, you know, in Vietnam, you type just manually. But I typed pretty fast in Vietnam. I already passed, you know. But now go in here is like electronic. You know that more faster. But anyway so I passed that and I work I start to work there and then. 

    Interviewer [00:43:27] Right away? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:43:28] Right away. I take maybe one weekend. That's it. I don't wanna stay too long. 

    Interviewer [00:43:34] Yeah, but you left Vietnam in such a rush, did you have time to process what was happening? Like to really understand what was happening. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:43:46] Oh. I do understand, but, you know, we do have a hard communicate with people because in Vietnam, I still have communicate with Vietnamese and American. But when I come to United States, it's only directly to American. So everything they talk, I translate myself. Okay. Until you go sleep. You hear what you speak in English, that your English get to you. That's why people say that. And that's true. 

    Interviewer [00:44:18] But I was asking because sometimes when people leave and they have time to plan, they think over and over again. With you, you left in such a rush. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:44:29] I don't have it. 

    Speaker 4 [00:44:30] You know process your feelings. 

    Interviewer [00:44:31] Yes, so like.

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:44:33] Yeah, I wish, I wish, I wish. If I have time, I can come back and pick up maybe my cousin or something, you know, somebody. 

    Interviewer [00:44:41] So you think about that? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:44:43] Yeah. I regret for that. When I went to philippine. We were landing in Philippine waiting. I talked to some of the military service there, and I said, can you, I know you go back home with empty airplane. Can I come with you? He said. Why? I said because my family still live there. Can I come and pick them up? Are you crazy? I remember he told me. Are you crazy? They send a market right now to turns in you. And then. Yeah. I mean constantly. You cannot go on. I don't think how you can do that. I feel, you know, I feel bad about that, but. I am glad I came with my mom. 

    Interviewer [00:45:34] What were the first few years like for you and your mom? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:45:37] Oh, we have. I had apartment. Okay. And then my, when my sponsor asked me what kind of car I want to buy to purchase. I said I want small. I want four door. And, I don't know anything about car at all. And I, you know, before that, we parked, we get the call. My sponsor want me to take the lesson for driving lesson. But I couldn't wait because, my mom and I, she always loved to go grocery. And every time I go grocery, we carry food and everything. And, you know, I look at the face of the student. They are college students. I look at whoever's looks kind person, I ask them take home. Take us home. Every time and every time I picked the people. They are good people. And I was lucky. And my sponsor said, can you wait for me to. I said, my mom like to go there, you know? But. I know, I know, I cannot wait, you know, but anyway. And then I talked to my colleague, one of lady there. She said. You said you want to learn how to drive. I said yes, and then I told her. She said, what kind of car you drive? I say, I drove the Honda. I didn't know they have car Honda here. I thought, I want to say Honda. That means she will know the motorcycle. 

    Interviewer [00:47:20] So she got you Honda the car.

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:47:23]  Yeah. But she taught me. She taught me. 

    Interviewer [00:47:26]  To drive.

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:47:29] With her Volkswagen with automatic. Not the automatic. 

    Interviewer [00:47:33] The stick? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:47:34] The stand. What it call? 

    Interviewer [00:47:37] Manual. Stick shift. Yeah. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:47:39] She taught me just few minute, and she let me drive. And she sit next to me. She let me drive. And I caught the, campus. We caught the, in front of people. How you know something? Oh, my goodness. And then she told me. Okay, Honda, you just turn like that. She roll my wheel. She run. And then when she come back, I don't remember how to go back. I just thought like they should they all go to the front yard people. And I crashed a lot of stuff until the big tree. I hit the big tree. Then my car stopped and I was crying so bad because, I will worry. I don't have money to pay for that. Her car was damage. And, you know, and then, and then. Who owned the house because she saw me cry so much, you know, so she my friend, her name, Dao. She say, can you give her some coke or something to drink? Calm her down. And then she couldn't make a cup of, you know, coke. I drink. And then I called my sponsor. I say I make that, you know. Oh, she was so upset. And she say, if you kill somebody today, what do you think about it, Spring? I say, Carol, I don't, you know, because you don't have time. And, you know, I keep saying something. She say, well, I told you, I will send you today. Oh wish you driver education for you, but you don't wait, you know. Oh, anyway. I said because my friend offer for free. 

    Interviewer [00:49:20] Yes. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:49:21] So. And then she say, yeah, so easy. Okay. And then they send the police over. I cry more. Because I told him in Vietnam. Don't go court. You go to the court, that not good girl. I mean, I'm done. You know my life is done. He said no, ma'am, no, ma'am, no, ma'am. Everything in here, you have to go to the courthouse. I say, really? Because in Vietnam, no, we don't do that until something very big serious. He said no in here. And then next day, my name on the front page of the Stillwater newspaper. My picture front page. And I feel so bad, you know, because that's what I did. And then I have to go to the court. And my sponsor he know the judge. So he told me ahead of time, he said everything the judge say, you say you guilty. No matter what he said. I say. You know, and I say, yes, sir, I'm guilty. I keep saying I'm guilty. I he, I almost he laughing and then he didn't upset with me but he upset with my friend. He says she is Vietnamese, she just came and I have no permit. But you American, how dare you teach her without permit. She said well she told me she drive Honda. I said, sir I have motorcycle Honda. I don't know anything about car. I have no idea about car you have name Honda. I'm so sorry, I didn't know. I thought I wrote Honda. Yes, but motorcycle. 

    Interviewer [00:51:06] Oh, thats funny. 

    [00:51:07] He is. He didn't, he and and he kind, smiling. You know. He know I told the true. I say I didn't know anything about you have a car named Honda in here. I never don't. 50C, 50CC in Vietnam. That my Honda. Oh he like smile, but he don't laugh, but he smile. And my friend, she was, she said, sir I'm so sorry. I didn't. We misunderstood. I thought she drove the car name Honda. 

    Interviewer [00:51:37] Did your mom work the first few years in America? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:51:39] No, no, I never let her work at all because I told her I brought her here. For my choice. I want her to be happy. She never work even one day. But.

    Speaker 4 [00:51:55] Until we were born. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:51:56] Yeah. And until she, want some friend, you know. Want some kid get over. Can you, you know, us but free. You know we don't charge. Because we don't know anything about that. 

    Interviewer [00:52:05] So she watched other kids. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:52:07] No. Just only a couple time but not very much because I don't want her to work at all. 

    Interviewer [00:52:12] Was she able to meet friends and. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:52:14] Oh, yeah. She went to English school. She taught some American at the teacher at church. They taught her English. And she met a lot of international students. They're from Iran, from China, and something like that. And she had a good time. And she can speak French. 

    Interviewer [00:52:33] Yes. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:52:34] Yeah. Not in fluen, but she can speak French. And English she can't do. Not very much, but she can. You talk to her, she understand. But anyway. It more than formal she don't, but if you know something she can understand. 

    Interviewer [00:52:50] You cared for your mom here. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:52:52] Oh, I love it. I, you know, I. That's why when I married, I don't want to marry with American. Because, I told my husband, I said if I won't marry American, I already marry them at home. Not here. Back at home because I work with them. They always ask me you know, your day and everything, all the time. But I say no I chosen. Because if I. Then we come United States, I want to marry with the Vietnamese. Because if something happened we can go home together. That's why. 

    Interviewer [00:53:28] You thought you might go home. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:53:30] Yes. I thought if something happened, you never know. 

    Interviewer [00:53:32] Yeah. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:53:33] If something happened we all can go home together. But when. 

    Interviewer [00:53:37] When was the first. Have you been back to Vietnam? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:53:40] 2006. First time. Thirty one year. 

    Interviewer [00:53:44] Thirty one years. Tell me what that was like. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:53:45] Oh! 

    Speaker 4 [00:53:46] They had the best time. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:53:48] Yeah I have, I have. 

    Interviewer [00:53:49] Who did you go with? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:53:50] Well I went to my hometown first. 

    Speaker 4 [00:53:52] She went with my dad. Okay. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:53:54] Yeah, I went with the husband. We. 

    Speaker 4 [00:53:56] There's four kids, and we. At the time, I had been married for two years by that point, and we all decided that we were going to chip in. Because I think. Was there a direct flight to Vietnam by then? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:54:08] Yes. 

    Speaker 4 [00:54:09] So there were direct flights into Vietnam that they wouldn't have to take a little plane. So my siblings and I all contributed money to send them home. And you were there for two months? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:54:20] No. One month, one month. 

    Speaker 4 [00:54:22] They were there and they went from the very top to the very bottom. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:54:24] I love it. 

    Interviewer [00:54:25] So how did you feel leading up to that trip? How did you feel knowing that you were going to go back to Vietnam thirty years later?

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:54:32]  Well, first. I'm telling you, when I get to the airport, I see all the red head and I'm not. I'm scared to. You know, and I brought home a lot of makeup to give as a gift for my family because I don't have money. I bought just the real, makeup, cosmetic hair. So I bring home foundation, all kind of thing, you know, for just a gift. So I went home, and, when we got to the airport, they check on my luggage and they saw all the makeup, and then, they told me they have to go run a test. You know. And I say, what kind of test? I really, you know, some, you know. But anyway, my husband been home for several time, okay. Because he still have mom. And brother. But I have none. I have only cousin. So my mom with me. So I'm not worried. I'm not I wasn't hurry. But actually when you work for government you don't make that much money you know and monthly and my mom didn't work so I support her, do thing. And then I sent home some Vietnam too. 

    Speaker 4 [00:55:47] And that was one of the reasons why it took her so long to go home is because she didn't want to leave my grandmother here. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:55:53] Yeah. 

    Speaker 4 [00:55:53] And my grandmother passed in 2004. So then that was it kind of became an opportunity for us to finally gift her with that because she was comfortable enough to leave and go back. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:56:03] But before that I afraid to go home because I work for American. I don't want to go home, you know, have some problem. 

    Interviewer [00:56:13] You were nervous.

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:56:14]  Yeah. I'm nervous because I work for, you know, the classified. For government. So if something happened, they come and get me first, you know. So I don't want to. So I refuse, but I say, mom, you can go. And she said, no, you don't go, I don't go. She wait for me, I wait for her. Wait from me, wait for. And then I starting work for the legislature for Oklahoma. And we were busy, you know, at the time. Cool temperature and then lead more than in session I cannot leave. And then year after year, year after year wait for thirty one year. First time thirty one year. 

    Interviewer [00:57:00] But you loved it? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:57:01] Yes I love it. But you know when I get home, I have a chance to see my cousin. One of my cousin had cancer, but I didn't know. He went to the airport and to meet me, to greet me. I look and I say, I talk to all the cousin. I say he look so familiar. He said that your cousin. Oh my god, he had cancer. I didn't know. And I told him. Why don't you tell me? And he said, because you and your mom support my parents. For many years. How can I say something to you about my cancer? I can see the point. But after that and I say well, I don't have much money for give you now because all my kids. Bought the ticket for me and they give me some, allowing their money for my to spend it, you know, and during my visiting. So I don't have enough money for you, but I give you little bit, but not enough. But I promise you, when I go back home, I will do a fundraiser for you. And I did. I went home. I went back home and, I think, I sent out a email to all my colleagues and senator, everybody about my cousin and I make egg roll. I sold them. So they order a lot. The flowing all order and they give extra money. So I sent home. I sent home to my cousin for his treatment. And then, I sent him only two time or two time. So he passed away because I when I know his cancer too late. It too late. He lost too much blood and something. So. Well, he have a treatment for, I think you have, what it call. 

    Speaker 4 [00:59:03] Chemotherapy? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:59:05] Yeah. Chemo. You know.

    Interviewer [00:59:05]  Is that the only family you had left in Vietnam? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:59:08] That's it. 

    Interviewer [00:59:09] Yeah. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:59:09] I have only. My family have only one brother. I have four cousin. One cousin passed before my growing lady, you know, and three more cousin. And when I was there, when I got home, one of my cousin has, he has problem like have of. Well, he got sick and then he speak not clearly. You know what I'm talking about. Like, what do you call? 

    Speaker 4 [00:59:42] They have a stroke. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [00:59:43] Yeah. Have a mini stroke. He barely talk. And you know what he told me? This is really a good for me to know to to hear about it. He told me. He say when I left. A lot of people Vietnamese and officer. Office in Vietnam, where I live. They help him because. Because he's my cousin. I feel very, you know. 

    Interviewer [01:00:12] Good about that. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [01:00:12] Yeah, I feel. I mean I feel very touched, you know. Because he say oh after you left all they help me because they say oh that's her brother. Her brother. You help her. I mean I've been help a lot of people but I didn't realize that they return to me like that. You know, it was my husband. Oh. You know, and, I was impressed to hear that thing. 

    Interviewer [01:00:35] Yeah. Wow. So anything else that you'd like to share? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [01:00:40] Well, you know, I. 

    Interviewer [01:00:45] It's okay. Take your time, please. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [01:00:53] I want my kid to appreciate it. What they had. A lot of people sacrificed. I was lucky. I flew in, not like a boat people. They sacrifice for come for freedom. So I want them to know they appreciate the life. They value life in here. Without us, they have nothing in here. You know, like people before us. Like your father and everybody sacrificed to come and raise you guys. And you have appreciated. You know I am. That's why I do a lot for charity. Because I appreciate. 

    Jenny (daughter) [01:01:58] Over the years she has done countless eggroll fundraisers. Countless. She gives back. When there's a tsunami. When there's a tornado. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [01:02:08] They have one, a channel over here. They call channel four. They have a program that give, pay it for. That mean

    Interviewer [01:02:16]  Pay it forward. 

    Interviewer [01:02:17] Yes, we do. We do something similar. 

    Jenny (daughter) [01:02:19] So she was nominated. I can't remember the exact year, but she was nominated. Was it 15? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [01:02:25] When Andrew worked at 30. Yeah, 30. 

    Jenny (daughter) [01:02:32] I think he's 37 now. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [01:02:34] Yeah. 

    Jenny (daughter) [01:02:34] So, she was nominated, and the person called me to say, hey, I'm just. In case you. She was so confused when they gave her the money, they. She thought they were donating. And she says, oh, thank you so much. She didn't realize that the money was for her for the effort she had put in over the years. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [01:02:52] I was shocked, you know, because the Senate, they nominate me for two year. To finally got me to that award. And you know, I am, I feel like I'm like alive, like today, you know. Today or you don't know about tomorrow. So you have to happy and appreciate. 

    Jenny (daughter) [01:03:19] Just to speak to her legacy at the Senate. She worked there for forty two and half years. Yeah. And when it came time for her to retire, they reached out to me because I've event plan for a living. And and they said, well, most people, when they retire, they rent a small conference room. It's come and go. And she said, we need a bigger space for your mom. Yeah. And this was post-Covid. This was toward the end of 2021. And so I said, well, book out one of the rotunda of the Capitol. I'll provide the food. We'll send out invitations. She probably had 300 plus people come within a few hours span to say goodbye, because she has left such a legacy at the Capitol. If you go and ask, do you know Spring? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [01:03:59] Yeah. 

    Jenny (daughter) [01:04:01] Yes I do. Everybody knows her. 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [01:04:03] Yeah, everybody know me. And even though after I retired, I still do for charity once a year. For the food bank and everybody, you know, like that. So I am so glad I still to be able to help people. You know, I never have a garage sale. I never done one. 

    Interviewer [01:04:22] Garage sale? 

    Spring Xuan Nguyen [01:04:24] I never have. You know, I gave all the charity. I don't I don't sell anything because I say when I came the great cost gave me, you know, now I return back to them. Yes. You know, I never sell even one penny to the garage sale. I never have. They said you have a lot of clohes when I move from the big house to small house. I have a lot of suit. And everybody. I give to the women, you know, they need some suit, you know. To go work and everything. But, sell? I don't sell because I say, well, I receive a lot from the community. Now I have to return back. I don't I don't want to make the profit from them. 

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