NEWS 8 Austin features Michael Do in a short interview on April 30, 2008
By: Bob Robuck
The University of Texas Vietnamese Student Association observed the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon on Saturday with a banquet and vigil called Black April.
The fall marks the day the United States pulled out of Vietnam, ending the war.
The event’s keynote speaker was a Vietnamese war veteran who witnessed many atrocities during the war.
Michael Do spent nine years in the Vietnamese military forces, and even though the horror of the war still lingers in his memory, it’s what happened afterward that forever changed his life.
“One month after April 30th, they broadcast on radio and television for all the officers to go to a, they called a school, to learn, to study the new policy. But actually it was a prison,” Do said.
Image: The article on News 8 Austin website
At age 28, after serving nine years in the infantry and air force and having seen and done so many things, Do was made a prisoner. And what was supposed to be a 10-day re-education turned into 10 years of torture and starvation.
“We had only two spoons of rice a day and nothing else but salt water for a whole year. There were only three times we had a little piece of meat, no vegetables, and that’s all we had for the whole year. And we survived by catching whatever moved,” he said.
Life became so excrutiating, and Do worried about his family so much, that he did the only thing he could do to survive. He tried to forget.
“The family, the wife, your mother, your children, get rid of them from your mind. Think nothing about them, because if you think, you can’t even help them,” Do said.
Finally, 10 years later and after enduring so much, Do was finally released. But he still wasn’t free. “They still watched my every movement,” he added.
In 1990, Do brought his entire family to the United States. It was his first taste of freedom – and of a new life. “It’s like from the hell to the heaven. When I stepped on the US soil on May 9, 1990, I felt reborn. I got a new life,” he said.
Since moving to the States, Do has worked for the CIA counter-terrorism program, received his Bachelor’s degree in engineering and a Master’s in management.
Image: Michael Do, Present