Interview with Bac Tran, November 5, 2018

Becoming Texans, Becoming Americans
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00:00:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: This is Betsy Brody. Today is November 5, 2018. I’m interviewing, for the first
time, Mr. Bac Tran. This interview is taking place in my office in Richardson, Texas.
This interview is sponsored by the Baylor University Institute for Oral History, and is
part of the Becoming Texans, Becoming Americans project. All right, good morning, Mr.
TRAN: Good morning.
BRODY: I’m so excited to talk to you today.

Segment Synopsis: Brody begins the interview and introduces Mr. Bac Tran and the Becoming Texans, Becoming Americans project.

00:00:26 - Leaving Vietnam

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Partial Transcript: Let’s start out, just—if you could tell me a
little bit about your life in Vietnam.
TRAN: Yes. In Vietnam I was a high school teacher. I had been teaching the chemistry
and biology. And then in April 1975 when the south of Vietnam was about to collapse
and everybody was panicked, I was originated from the north. I was born as a Catholic
and with anti-communists, so I had more reason to fear to live under the control of the
communists. But it happened that my brother was working for US embassy at the time,
and they allow every US embassy employee family to get out of the country, and I was a
member of his family. That’s why I came over here.
BRODY: So because of your brother’s connections and his work for the US embassy, his
whole family—so how many members of the family were evacuated through that?
TRAN: Yes, his family has four children, he and his wife. That’s six, and my mother, my
two sisters, and me. The sisters and me, we’re all single, that’s why we were regarded as
a member of his family.
BRODY: Okay, so he was responsible for all of you as well as your mother and his own
family. So were you living in Saigon at that time?
TRAN: I was in the Saigon at the time. Actually, I was a high school teacher in the
central of Vietnam, and by the time the communists almost took over that area, so I
escaped and ran to the south, and I get on the Vietnam navy ship, and they took us to the
south of Vietnam and put us in a refugee camp in Phú Quốc. It’s in the south of Vietnam.
BRODY: Okay, so you came from central Vietnam, fleeing to south Vietnam and were in
a refugee camp.
TRAN: Yes, and then my brother went to Phú Quốc, went to that island, looked for me,
and took me back to the capital of Vietnam.
BRODY: Wow, what was that day like? Did you know he was coming for you?
TRAN: No. That is in around April, April fifteenth. So we were living in Saigon for a
couple of weeks, and then my brother is in charge for the evacuation of his employees out
of the country. And so he stayed behind, but I and my—and his family and my sisters and
my mother, we all got out of the country on April 25.
BRODY: April 25, 1975.

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Bac Tran discuses his job and life in Vietnam as well as his family's evacuation out of Vietnam.

Keywords: Catholicism; Communism; Fall of Saigon; US Embassy; Vietnam; Vietnam War; escape from Vietnam; religion

00:04:12 - Journey to the United States

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Partial Transcript: started to be under intense artillery bombardment. And we reunited with my brother at
Guam island a few days after that. And then we were flown to US and stayed in Camp
Pendleton, a marine base, for more than a month. Then through the USCC, a voluntary
agency, we were sponsored by the University of Plano, now a defunct university, and we
came to Dallas in July 1975.
BRODY: Okay, so the first place that you went was Guam, or the Philippines, then—
TRAN: Philippines, then Guam.
BRODY: Then Camp Pendleton.
TRAN: Then Camp Pendleton, yeah.
BRODY: And were you all together the whole time?
TRAN: Yeah, we all together. We reunited with my brother in Guam.
BRODY: So tell me—I mean, how did you feel when you were in Guam and before he
got there? What was the feeling in the family?
TRAN: We was—when we came to the Philippines, staying in the navy base, I was so
fearful because I don’t know if my brother will be able to reunite with us or not, because
he was still in Saigon.
BRODY: Right. It must have been scary.
TRAN: Yeah, it is very scary. But we have no choice. After staying there for a few days,
then they start to fly us to the Guam. But it’s just like a miracle. We were so tired and we
slept in the camp in the tent, and then in the morning, I suddenly saw my brother walking
in. He’s looking for us also, he walk around and walk around, and then he saw us and he
walk in the camp.
BRODY: Were you so surprised?
TRAN: Yeah, we so surprised and so happy.
BRODY: So happy. And how was it with having four small children with your group?
Was that difficult?
TRAN: It was difficult because at that time when we were still in the Subic Bay, the US
navy base, the youngest one, my youngest nephew, he was sick. And at the time, if any
kids got sick severely, they have to take the kid out from us and they take him, put him
into the hospital.
BRODY: So you were separated from—
TRAN: Yeah, and we were so scared, but fortunately my nephew got well after that—
BRODY: And they were able to reunite you.
TRAN: —and recovered after that, so that—yeah, he was not separated from us.
BRODY: Good, that’s good. So Camp Pendleton, you were there for—
TRAN: Yeah, Camp Pendleton. We was there from May until June, more than a month,
about a month and twenty days or something like that, because we were big family. And
you know that in the US, the Americans only have smaller family, they cannot afford to
sponsor that big family.
BRODY: So during your time in Camp Pendleton you were working to try to find a
sponsor for the whole family?
TRAN: The Department of Immigration together with the voluntary agency they called
the VolAgs [Voluntary Agency], it’s nine voluntary agencies, including in that is USCC
[United States Catholic Conference], for instance, and the HIAS [Hebrew Immigrant Aid
Society] is a Jewish agency, et cetera. They work together and look for the sponsors. It’s
strange, and we’re just like—suddenly we got into the United States, completely different
environment for us, and

Segment Synopsis: Tran recounts his experiences and hardships from traveling to the United States from Guam and the Philippines.

Keywords: Camp Pendleton; Dallas; Guam; HIAS; Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society; Phillippines; Subic Bay; Texas; USCC; United States Catholic Conference; University of Plano; VolAgs; leaving Vietnam; refugee camp; refugees

00:09:13 - Adjusting to life in the United States

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Partial Transcript: And we arrived to the Philippines and stay in the US navy base for
several days. And my brother left Saigon on April twenty-seventh, and he was pretty
lucky, because on April twenty-eighth the Tan Son Nhut, the only airport in the capital,
BRODY: What was the most different thing for you?
TRAN: The most different thing is the culture. We want—like, in Vietnam, we normally
want to live together as community. And when we go over here, even one Vietnamese
priest, he’s very well-educated, he graduated from German, he also—even that, he always
ask us to pray so that we can stay together. Yeah, but over here, the—I think the—over
here we really have the experience with the immigration, because through the course of
history all the immigration from all over the world goes over here, so the department—
immigration departments and the voluntary agencies, they’re very experienced about how
to deal with the immigrants. So instead of put us together in one place, they distribute us
throughout the country, okay. And that—secondly, when we come over here, the very
first feeling that we have is: this is peaceful country. In our country is the war all the
BRODY: It’s very different.
TRAN: Yeah, the thirty, forty years, yeah. So this country—when we first got into the
airport and they ship us to the base, we look through and we see, “Huh, the society is
very peaceful.”
BRODY: Right. No conflict that you could see.
TRAN: No conflict yeah, yeah, you can see it.
BRODY: So how did that make you feel?
TRAN: Me feel—we don’t—the first feeling we have is we really enjoy the environment,
and people treat us very kindly. But also we just, as I said, we just kind of feel numb. We
were not prepared to come over here. Yeah, we were not prepared.
BRODY: You weren’t planning, or it wasn’t part of your plan.
TRAN: Yeah. But we panic and we feel numb and we don’t—it’s just like we got—we
don’t have maps, something like that. We’re disoriented.
BRODY: Yeah, disoriented.
TRAN: Yeah, completely.
BRODY: And numb.

Segment Synopsis: Tran describes his initial reaction to the differences between living in the United States and Vietnam.

00:12:32 - Finding a Sponsor

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Partial Transcript: But you wanted to have the one sponsor to take all of you, and that
was challenging, but ultimately you found—
TRAN: Yeah, it was challenging and we keep waiting. Every day, we keep waiting,
we’re waiting, and finally they call us and let us know that we have a sponsor. But the
sponsor we have over here is the University of Plano. They only sponsor for the transition
BRODY: Okay, so University of Plano transitioned your family for just the transition?
TRAN: And then from there they will find out a permanent sponsor. We came to the—we
are the first largest group who came to Dallas.
BRODY: Right, your family.
TRAN: Yeah, who came to Dallas. And we were living in Plano, but we must move out
of the campus before the school year.
BRODY: Oh I see, so this was happening in July?
TRAN: The school year sometime by the August, and they start somewhere around by
August, or something like that.

Segment Synopsis: Tran recalls the challenges of finding a sponsor for his entire family.

Keywords: Dallas; Plano; Texas; University of Plano; sponsor; sponsorship

00:13:54 - Finding Work In America

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Partial Transcript: Hunt Oil Company, they move their data centers to Dallas from Philadelphia and Tulsa. So they
build a huge big data center over at the Empire Central [Drive] and Stemmons [Freeway],
in north Dallas. So they need the helpers, and my brother and I, we got the job. Talking
about jobs is funny thing, is when we were living in the campus, there are a couple
employees from the human resource, from the Department of Human Resource. They
help us to look for the job. But you know, most of the Vietnamese refugees, we couldn’t
speak English or couldn’t speak English very well. So it’s fairly difficult to look for a job.
TRAN: I remember a man, his name is—I don’t remember his full name, but his name
was Mr. Vano. He always look for a job for us and we only end up with the $2.10 an
hour, that’s the minimum wage at the time.
BRODY: So, minimum wage job.
TRAN: And we jokingly call him as Mr. Two-Ten. (laughs)
BRODY: Mr. Two-Ten. (laughs) That’s really funny.
TRAN: Mr. Two-Ten because—but he’s very nice, he’s very nice. He even invite us to
his home sometimes.
BRODY: So was he an American?
TRAN: Yeah, he’s an American.
BRODY: And he was just interested in helping Vietnamese get jobs.
TRAN: Yeah, look for us to get a job, yeah. But unfortunately we don’t speak—we didn’t
speak English very well. We didn’t have skills that the company needed, so we had him
as Two-Ten, and (laughs) we call him as Mr. Two-Ten.
BRODY: (laughs) That’s very funny. So that entry into the job market—you know, how
did you get the job at Sun Oil Company?
TRAN: Yeah, at Sun Oil—because at that time, as I said, the data center, the Sun Oil just
build—Sun Oil just build their data center over the Stemmons in north Dallas. And they
need some helpers with no previous experience required.
BRODY: Oh, good.
TRAN: Yeah. So all we do—even the name is as a computer operator—but we come
over here, we got in and they have a huge room with all the tape drives. So the tape drive
we would normally call them tape number. All we do is see one, two, three, four, five,
six. So we go to the tape library and pick the tape and mount. That’s all they need us to
BRODY: Right. So you didn’t need a lot of English?
TRAN: Yeah, no need a lot of English.
BRODY: Great. So did you enjoy that job?
TRAN: Well, we so happy. We—I know that the job is at the entry level, but at least it
give us an opportunity to go back to school and learn the new skills and learn English.
And also, at least it give us something to move on with our lives.
BRODY: Absolutely.
TRAN: And if you go back, about 1975 and, if I remember correctly, there’s somewhere
around when they do the—maybe about 30, 36 percent of the Americans that in favor
with the Vietnam immigration.
BRODY: Right, so not a lot of—
TRAN: Because at the time, the war is over, so they don’t feel very good about the war.
So only 30 percent of the Americans favor it. But as we said, as I said, we just wanted to
move on with our life. So we got the job, whatever job they give to us, and we tried to
work very hard. We go back to the school, learn English, and learn the new skills so that
we can live, so that we can become the independent in our life.

Segment Synopsis: Tran describes his first job in the United States working as a computer operator.

Keywords: English; Hunt Oil Company; Sun Oil Company; employment; jobs

00:19:26 - Going back to school

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Partial Transcript: So I remember I—in August the third, I got the job as
computer operator.
BRODY: Where were you working?
TRAN: I start to work as—at the—for the Sun Oil Company. At that time, Sun Oil
BRODY: Right. Tell me about going back to school. Where did you go back to school?
TRAN: I—(unintelligible) and you know, as I go back with little bit but here, it’s only 36
percent of the Americans favor Vietnamese immigration. But after a while, the local
people in Dallas were—through the newspaper and everything they published about our
new groups, how we—and people started to like us more and more. They’re more
friendly with us. And I think that’s because we started to work—we just work, we work
hard, and we go back to school and study the new skill and ______ so that we move on
with our life. In my case, I went back to the El Centro [College] first to learn English.
BRODY: Right, to a community college.
TRAN: Yeah, in community college. And then I go back to the UTD [University of
Texas–Dallas] to study information systems, or the course, information system. Because I
graduate in Vietnam with a BS degree, and I spend a couple more years in the
oceanography institute to study about marine biology. But I came over here, I couldn’t
find a job, so I work as a computer operator. So I had to start—at the time, we have to
take whatever they offer us, and then we improve our skill by going back to school. So I
have to learn data processing, information systems.
BRODY: So that’s a big change from marine biology, but—
TRAN: Yeah. It took me five years, and I became the programmer analyst in 1980.
BRODY: Great.
TRAN: Yeah, and 1990 I become the database administrator, and then until I retired in
BRODY: Well, congratulations on your retirement.
TRAN: Yeah. So not only for the job but for us, the education is—we really emphasize
on the education, it’s important for us. If we want to have a good future, we have to go
back to the school. And that how in Vietnam, that how it’s going in Vietnam, and over
here, the same thing. We came over here, we really pushed the kid through the school
BRODY: Yes, and yourselves as well, it sounds like.
TRAN: Yeah. And the school over here, I think it’s—I used to tell my children that okay,
in Vietnam, it’s fairly difficult to go through successfully in the school. I think about 4 or
5 percent of these student can graduate from the school back—I’m talking about before
1975. But even when you graduate from the school, I don’t think the student know much
as the student over here. Over here they learn more, they have more knowledge than us in
Vietnam. But the reason because it’s fairly difficult in Vietnam because there is no
regulations, no rules, no guidelines in school as we do over here. So we relied much on
the teachers favor or tolerance, okay? Like for instance, if I got sick on the exam day, no
makeup. I fail. That’s it. As over here, it’s different. It’s more tolerant. So we get over
here, when we go back to school, we feel fairly easy. People want—I mean the teacher,
professors, instructors just want us to pass the course. They don’t intend to give a
problem, to create the obstacles for us.
BRODY: So you worked hard and were able to succeed.
TRAN: Yeah. So if you work hard, you have opportunities.

Segment Synopsis: Tran recalls his return to collage in the United States in order to gain new skills to have a better opportunity for better jobs.

Keywords: El Centro Community College; UTD; University of Texas at Dallas; community college; education; refugees

00:24:16 - Sponsored Stay at the University of Plano

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: So, you mentioned earlier that when you first came, the University of Plano
housed you for that transition period, and you mentioned—did you stay on campus?
TRAN: Yeah, we are living in the campus, and a lot of volunteer—
BRODY: Where was that campus? Do you remember where that campus was?
TRAN: The campus is in northwest Dallas, I think—it’s—(turning pages) it’s in
northwest Dallas, it’s somewhere around on the—I believe that is somewhere around in
the farm road, they call Farm Road 544.
BRODY: Okay. So, sort of in Plano?
TRAN: Yeah, in Plano, and yeah, it’s close to—yeah, in Plano. Yeah.
BRODY: Okay, so they sponsored you and you lived on their campus. What were the
accommodations like during that time? Was it a dorm or—
TRAN: It’s in the dorm, and then the people start to donate food, and the volunteers
throughout the Richardson, Plano, they got in and tried to teach us English.
BRODY: Okay. So were those volunteers from church groups or a city?
TRAN: From a church group, and from—yeah, normally from the church group.
BRODY: From the church group. So they taught you English and donated things?
TRAN: Yeah, and donate, all that. But talking about, why is it different, that societies are
so different? I remember one days in our group—we had about three or four people—one
American lady, one volunteer, she drove us around the city—I think it was for—I forgot
the reason why, but we got in her car and she drove us somewhere. And at the stop sign
the streets are completely quiet and no people around there, at the stop sign, she stops.
That’s a rule, okay? But one of—(laughs) a man behind me is like, “Why don’t you go,
why do you have to stop? Nobody over here.” (Brody laughs) So she turns around and
she says, “You crazy.” (laughs)
BRODY: That’s funny. So she was following the rules—
TRAN: Yeah, she’s following the rules and the man, he doesn’t think that there’s a rule
that we need to stop.
BRODY: Right. So how would that have been in Vietnam? Is that—
TRAN: In Vietnam, back through the old days, we don’t follow very—the rules very strictly, yeah.

Segment Synopsis: Tran explains the living conditions and accommodations of living on the University of Plano's campus. Including additional support from a church group.

Keywords: Dallas; Plano; Texas; University of Plano; church; cultural differences; volunteers

00:27:18 - Adjusting to American Culture and Cultural Misunderstandings

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: Cartoons? (laughs)
TRAN: I really like that, cartoons, even I was twenty-six years old, but I still like the
cartoons. (Brody laughs) So I asked one of my—one of the coworkers, “Do you like to
watch toon-car?” He doesn’t know what I mean a “toon-car.” But I mean, in English, we
call it cartoon, but in Vietnamese language, sometimes kind of reversed; like a blue
horse, we call here—we translate into Vietnam, call it horse blue.
BRODY: Okay, so it reverses.
TRAN: So that language is fairly difficult for us.
BRODY: Of course.
TRAN: Yeah, so—and the culture also creates some misunderstanding or confusion also.
It’s like, in Vietnam, if you want to hire your employee to work on in some special cases,
time, like a weekend or something like that, normally they think that, okay, we ask the
employees, “I would like you to work tomorrow, I request you” or “I would like you to
work tomorrow.” Over here people are simple. Our coworkers just simply say, “Hey, you
want overtime tomorrow?” We translate, we interpret that as the way they look down on
Brody: Oh.
TRAN: So it’s a different. It’s different.
BRODY: Yeah, so that’s different.
TRAN: Okay, so in Vietnam, normally a manager or supervisor sit on the chair, call the
employee in, and normally they talk it’s like really, you know, official ways. But over
here, the supervisor, their legs, their feet on the table and talk. But we interpret as the way
they look down on us. So it’s some kind of—
BRODY: Oh, so it’s about respect kind of feeling?
TRAN: Yeah, about respect. So it’s—the culture sometimes creates that very—
BRODY: Yeah, some misunderstandings.
TRAN: —kind of misunderstanding each other, yeah.
BRODY: Do you remember any times where a misunderstanding caused trouble for you
TRAN: No, I don’t think, but my—this is not relating to the refugees, Vietnamese
refugees in Dallas, but I remember in my wife’s side, we have my wife’s uncle. He
escaped from Vietnam and the way the—an officer over there, an Asian, I think an Asian,
spoke to him and with the—with his foot on the table, on the dash, and my wife’s uncle
interpret that look down at us, okay? So he get mad. So he didn’t want to go to the United
States. Instead he end up going to the French.
BRODY: He went to France. (laughs)
TRAN: —with the French, and now he still staying in the French.
BRODY: Really? Wow.
TRAN: Because when he was living in the refugee camp, he has three sisters in the US.
So he actually can request—can ask to get over here, yeah.
BRODY: But instead he chose to go to France.
TRAN: Yeah, so, you know, that sometime for us over here, we think that that’s a normal
way to deal with the people. But in the different countries, they interpret it a different
BRODY: They interpret it differently, that’s really interesting. Thank you for sharing that

Segment Synopsis: Tran explains the cultural differences he noticed after moving to the United States specifically in language, and he recalls the misunderstandings that the cultural differences caused.

Keywords: English; cartoons; cultural differences; language differences; misunderstandings; refugees; respect

00:32:40 - Sponsored Housing from St. Pius X

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Partial Transcript: So when the school year started for the University of Plano, you had to move off of
campus. How did you—
TRAN: Yeah. We—I found a job in August the third, and one week later—no, no, I
think—one week before that, one week before that we got sponsored by the St. Pius X.
BRODY: Oh, St. Pius X, yes.
TRAN: And we move out of the St. Pius X—we move out of the campus to this. And the
St. Pius X—the pastor at the time was Monsignor Weinzapfel, he rent a three-bedroom
house, and so he—nearby the church.
BRODY: Near the church?
TRAN: Near the church, and then—
BRODY: East Dallas?
TRAN: Yeah, in Dallas. And we moved to there. We have ten people living in a threebedroom house with only one bathroom. One bathroom.
BRODY: Wow, so that’s pretty crowded.
TRAN: Yeah, very crowded, especially very difficult in the morning.
BRODY: Absolutely.
TRAN: Kids need to go to school, and sometimes we need to go to work, and so fairly
difficult. But we happy. I think Monsignor Weinzapfel and the president of the Men’s
Club at the time, Mr. Harmon, they very helpful. They visit us very frequent and to make
sure that we have all what we need. We really appreciate the St. Pius X, that they open
their church for us to use. We—our Vietnamese Catholic group was—at that time, Father
Peter Phan, he’s the chaplain, and he used—every Sunday we celebrate Mass, we say the
Mass at the St. Pius X.
BRODY: Right, they gave you the space.
TRAN: They use—we use the St. Pius X facility until 1996 when we bought our own
church. So they are very generous to us.
BRODY: Very generous. Was Father Peter a refugee as well?
TRAN: Yes, Father Peter Phan is—I believe that Dallas Morning News or Dallas Times
Herald, there is an article about him, long time ago and I forgot. Father Peter Phan, when
we were living in the campus at the University of Plano, the Plano city has summer work,
the program for us. And all the Vietnamese refugees who want to go to work for the city
of Plano, it’s divided into two group—because Father Peter Phan, he speak English very
well, he’s a professor now at Georgetown—and he’s a head of one group. And my
brother is the head of another group. Every morning the bus stopped by and picked them
up, picked people up and put out on the street, especially on the highway to collect the
trash around the city.
BRODY: Okay, so cleaning up the highway.
TRAN: Yeah, clean up on the highway, you know, the trash. And Father Peter Phan, he’s
our chaplain from 1975 to 1978, so he have to go to Rome to present his PhD.
BRODY: In Rome?
TRAN: Yeah, in Rome. He teaches in Rome, and he went back and he become the
professor, then teaching UD [University of Dallas] for a while and go to Washington, and
now he’s a professor. And when he got the second degree, second PhD degree in
philosophy or something like that, and I think there was an article in Dallas Morning
News or Dallas Time Herald, I forgot. And they said a guy who collect the trash now
have two PhD degrees.
BRODY: Wow, that’s amazing, that’s amazing.

Segment Synopsis: Tran describes the housing and help provided by their new sponsor St. Pius X and he recalls his experiences with Father Peter Phan.

Keywords: Catholic Church; Father Peter Phan; Monsignor Weinzapfel; St. Pius X; church; housing

00:38:04 - Building the Vietnamese Community in Texas

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Partial Transcript: TRAN: Yeah. But anyway, St. Pius X, go back, and St. Pius X is our spiritual foundation.
So we really up to shape. Without them helping us, without Monsignor Weinzapfel as a
pastor of St. Pius X support us, without Dallas Diocese support us, I don’t know how we
are looking—how we look as a community, a Vietnamese community, today. With the
support from them, I think, in 1993 we split into three different Vietnamese Catholic
church. One is St. Peter in Dallas, and Mother of Perpetual Help in Garland, and St.
Joseph in Carrollton. Especially Mother of Perpetual Help in Garland, right now we have
1,800 families.
BRODY: Wow, that’s huge.
TRAN: So we’re talking about somewhere around eight thousand people.
BRODY: So the community has really grown.
TRAN: Yeah. I think, but we start at the St. Pius X.

Segment Synopsis: Tran explains the growth of the Vietnamese community starting from St. Pius X.

Keywords: Dallas Diocese; Monsignor Weinzapfel; Mother of Perpetual Vietnamese Catholic Church; St. Joseph's Vietnamese Catholic Church; St. Peter Vietnamese Catholic Church; St. Pius X; refugees

00:39:30 - Support from Monsignor Weinzapfel

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: Yeah. Let me go back to that time. So at St. Pius X, Monsignor Weinzapfel,
what kind of man was he and why was he so supportive, do you think, of the Vietnamese
refugees? What was he like?
TRAN: I think—he’s originated from German, so his parents living in the rural area
somewhere south of Dallas. So I believe that he really particularly have sympathy with
the refugees, not only the Vietnamese but many people also. I think he sponsored many
foreigners, including one of the Indians priests—at the time I was living over there he
still a priest but later on he become a bishop. Monsignor Weinzapfel, he’s very good,
he’s—and for the Vietnamese, he’s—I mean, he’s ready to help us. I remember once—he
tried to do everything to make our life as easy—as smooth—as easy as possible—and I
remember one time, my mother, of course, she couldn’t speak English, she came over
here, she has no formal education. Monsignor Weinzapfel said, “Well, you can do
confession with me. You just speak Vietnamese, and I speak English for the—
BRODY: Confession?
TRAN: Yeah, “for the confession. God will understand, don’t worry about that.”
BRODY: That’s wonderful.
TRAN: So he’s very easygoing. And I, at first, I tell you—I might misunderstand him,
the way he treat us. Well, when he just sponsored us and we just arrived at the St. Pius X,
living in that three-bedroom house. And he told a guy to stop by and show me how to
drive the motorcycle, and he want to buy the motorcycle so that I can drive back and
forth to work. And you know that from the St. Pius X, go to Stemmons, maybe about
thirty minute, forty minute of driving on the highway. How can I drive the motorcycle?
BRODY: (laughs) So that was his idea?
TRAN: Yeah. I think that’s not good idea, so why you treat us that way? But, I mean, just
only a little bit confusing the first time. So later on, when I understand him, he’s the guy
who can go out and do the sport or fly airplane and everything. So to him—
BRODY: That’s not a big deal.
TRAN: —that’s not a big deal to him. And I keep good relationship with him until he die
in 2016. I used to visit him, and I believe I don’t surprise when in 2016 when he pass
away, the Dallas Morning News announced that the iconic priest just passed away.
BRODY: Right, so he was recognized—
TRAN: So everybody respect him.
BRODY: —in the community. So you’ve talked about your Catholic faith and that that
was really important.
TRAN: Yeah. It’s very important to us.

Segment Synopsis: Tran talks about his relationship with Monsignor Weinzapfel and the support he provided to the community.

Keywords: Catholic Church; Catholicism; Monsignor Weinzapfel; St. Pius X; faith; kindness; motorcycle; refugees; religion

00:43:50 - Mass at St. Pius X

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: Can you tell—take me back to those four o’clock masses that you had at the—
that you were celebrating at St. Pius X. What was the environment, what did it feel like,
what do you remember that experience every week being like?
TRAN: Yeah, the—we really valued the Mass at four o’clock at St. Pius, especially the
first several years. The Vietnamese Catholics from everywhere around the Dallas—
sometimes Carollton, sometimes somewhere—they always tried to go to the four o’clock
Mass. And some of the time when we go to four o’clock Mass—because I was living
very close to the church so they stop by and visit or talk maybe at least about an hour
before they go to the church. We, at the time, the St. Pius X and the Mass is a very good
opportunity for us to meet each another.
BRODY: To connect?
TRAN: After a week of working—yeah, to keep connecting. So secondly, the four
o’clock Mass always celebrate in Vietnamese, and that will help us a lot. Most of our
people, we just don’t understand very well English, English very well. So we could go to
the English Mass sometime—we don’t get lost throughout the Mass, but at the sermons
we just don’t understand.
BRODY: Was there a Vietnamese choir?
TRAN: Yeah, there’s a Vietnamese choir. The funny thing is for Vietnamese, wherever
they—the Vietnamese Catholic, whatever church, they always have a big choir or
multiple choirs. You can imagine the Mother of Perpetual Help in Garland, they have
four or five choirs.
TRAN: Each Mass, they have a different choir. And in St. Pius X at the time, the choir is
maybe twenty, thirty people easily.
BRODY: Were you in the choir?
TRAN: I’m not in the choir. (Brody laughs) I don’t sing very well. (Brody laughs) But
the Monsignor Weinzapfel, he’s very surprised, he said, “Wow, the Vietnamese love to
BRODY: Love to sing.
TRAN: Yeah. And I think that at one time the Vietnamese choir even go to cathedral or
some place to sing also.
BRODY: Do they sing in Vietnamese?
TRAN: In Vietnamese, yeah. And that is—and secondly, at the same parish we have the
Monsignor Weinzapfel allow us to use some classroom so that we can teach the
BRODY: Language class?
TRAN: Wherever we go, we always try to teach the kid Vietnamese. And I believe—I
think that at the time I was a teacher, I tried to teach kid the Vietnamese also.

Segment Synopsis: Tran descries his experiences at the four o'clock Mass and its importance to the Vietnamese community in Dallas.

Keywords: Catholic Church; Catholic mass; Mass; Monsignor Weinzapfel; St, Pius X; Vietnamese choir; Vietnamese language; choir; community; language; language learning

00:47:14 - Maintaining the Vietnamese Culture

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: Well, on that subject of language, why was it important to the Vietnamese
community to keep teaching the children Vietnamese?
TRAN: Yeah, first of all, so that we can—we hope when the kids grow up they be able to
read Vietnamese. If they can read the Vietnamese they understand us more, they
understand the Vietnamese culture, custom, more, okay? Then also to us, we still have
Vietnam, okay? So we think that with teaching our Vietnamese, our kids Vietnamese, one
day they can communicate—for the reason of communication. And it turned out that I—
here is my philosophy about the Vietnamese language: I think when the kid go back to—
even they born over here, we’d rather teach them the Vietnamese because when they go
to the school they speak English anyway. So for them, the English is still the primary
language. And it turn out that, like, my daughter, we always speak—my children also,
especially right now my daughter is a good example—they speak Vietnamese, they can
read the Vietnamese. So my daughter right now, she’s a medical doctor, she’s a doctor.
So she practice in Wylie. After two year, year or two, right now more and more of her
clients are Vietnamese.
BRODY: Oh, I see, serving the community.
TRAN: Yeah, in Vietnamese, she helps answer. So even the practice, mainly owned by
the American couple, but they have more clients.
BRODY: That are Vietnamese. That’s interesting.
TRAN: They start to go to see my daughter. Even right now she has the limit, the upper
limit is two thousand patient. That’s the max, because each day one doctor should take
about twenty, twenty-five patient. But lately, some Vietnamese ask her so she have to go
back and ask the managers if she can receive more patient or not. And now my daughters
and my children, they enjoy the Vietnamese music. The culture is the—that they have an
opportunity to learn the culture.
BRODY: Yeah, that’s interesting. So—
TRAN: And to me, then you’ll—not only Vietnamese. If I know something in some other
language, I would like to teach my kids because the more languages you know, the better
off you are.
BRODY: Sure. Absolutely. It helps, it’s an asset, it sounds like, for your daughter.

Segment Synopsis: Tran explains his reasoning for teaching his children Vietnamese and its benefits in the community as well as carrying on the Vietnamese culture.

Keywords: English; Vietnamese language; children; culture; customs; language

00:50:47 - Self Identity

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Partial Transcript: Well, thinking also about that, knowing the language, knowing English, knowing Vietnamese,
how do you think of yourself in terms of—are you American, are you Vietnamese
American, are you Vietnamese? How do you think of your own identity?
TRAN: Oh. My—you know that—here’s the thing—I still believe that even—I still
believe that I am a Vietnamese, yeah. Let’s put it this way: I read English more than I
read in Vietnamese. Everything I read, most of the stuff I read is English. But when I
pray, I pray in Vietnamese.
BRODY: I see.
TRAN: Because that is from the deepest level, it’s my—
BRODY: Your soul.
TRAN: It’s from my soul, my heart. So if you born as an American, you can speak
French, you can speak German, you can speak anything, but whenever you hear—to go
deep into your soul, you’re still thinking in English. Yeah, that’s in—yeah.

Segment Synopsis: Tran describes how he sees himself and his own identity.

Keywords: American identity; English; Vietnamese; Vietnamese Americans; faith; identity; language

00:52:17 - Contributing to the Community

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: That’s an interesting perspective. So you’re still very religious and involved in
the church still?
TRAN: Now I’m retired, I’m not involved anymore, but I go to the church regularly and
practice the faith.
BRODY: During those times, the Vietnamese communities that you said came together
before and during that four o’clock Mass, were there other cultural things that you did or
celebrations that were particular to the Vietnamese community in the St. Pius church?
TRAN: At hindsight, the Mass and the Vietnamese class, that class, and that’s what my
focus on the teaching Vietnamese. So my brother, he’s very active in the communities
also. But I work in a different area. Like, I have contributed to the Vietnamese
magazines, but not for the Catholic, for everybody. Yeah, something like that.
BRODY: What kind of articles were you contributing?
TRAN: Normally we go back with the—I specialize in Vietnamese poetry.
BRODY: Poetry?
TRAN: Yeah, most of my focus on—at the time, we didn’t have much books in
Vietnamese. We left the country with empty hands. We didn’t have anything. Normally
we relied on our memories.
BRODY: To remember the stories.
TRAN: Yeah, remember a story here and there and try to put together some magazine,
and contribute and share with the people.
BRODY: Yeah, that’s true, you did—
TRAN: And my brother, he’s involved very much, in very deep in the Catholic
communities. You might want to interview him, ask him, yeah.
BRODY: Yeah, I think I would love to.

Segment Synopsis: Tran discusses his involvement with the church and his contribution of poetry to the community.

Keywords: Vietnamese community; Vietnamese language; culture; memory; poetry

00:54:53 - Experiences as a Vietnamese Student

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Partial Transcript: When you were in El Centro Community College
and UT–Dallas studying, what was it like to be a student and a newly arrived Vietnamese
refugee at that time?
TRAN: Yeah, that’s what I—first of all, when I go to the school, it’s fairly difficult for
me to understand what teacher—because, yeah, he’s supposed to try to teach me. But
secondly, I feel that over here instructors or the teacher, they want us to be success. And
when I went to El Centro or UTD, I’m very good at the science and technology course.
But in the liberal courses I’m not very good, because I couldn’t read English very well at
the time. But over here the—I have to believe that the—we have very good education
systems. Yeah, good education system. And the oriental people, when they came over
here, we, as I said, we really emphasize about the education. So many of us, they make
some progress, success.
BRODY: Did you interact very much with American students of different—other races?
TRAN: Not very much, but we don’t isolate ourselves. We try to—
BRODY: Try to interact.
TRAN: Yeah, interact with them.
BRODY: What were the main barriers to—
TRAN: It’s still—the main barrier is still the language and the culture. So the reason we
don’t interact very much is because, as I said, the culture is—even I’m living here more
than forty years, okay? There’s some time I want to say something and I have to be aware
about that because something we don’t think that is serious, but to the other people—like,
for instance, to American, we say something, they think that it’s not good.
BRODY: So it’s back to the misunderstanding.
TRAN: Yeah, it’s not good. So creating more confusion. So I have—I mean, working for
forty-one years, but in the last few years, I have the meeting all the time with people, with
employee, but when I say something I make sure to say something that is very clear. So
BRODY: Yeah, you don’t want any misunderstandings.
TRAN: Yeah.

Segment Synopsis: Tran explains his experience as a newly arrived immigrant student including his struggles and interactions with other students.

Keywords: El Centro Community College; English language; community college; culture; education; friendships; langauge; misunderstandings; professors; school; teachers

00:58:04 - Interaction with different races

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Partial Transcript: ...don’t know why, but when we came over here, people really were friendly to us. Like the
folks—when we started to work for Sun Oil, about a month or so, this guy, his name is
Bill Boucher, he specialized in the history. His major is history. But he was a marine, and
he came to my country. And he said when he come back over here, he think about the
Vietnam War and he cried so often and drink—get drunk all the time. So when he met us
he talk to us and treat us very friendly, and he give us the—when me and my brother,
after a while working together and then they split into the different shifts, so we need one
more car. So he in the process of divorce his wife, but he still thinking very well—
thinking about us very much. So he give us his car, his Volkswagen.
BRODY: Wow. That’s generous.
TRAN: So I don’t—if the people treat me that way, how can they say—yeah. And then I
know another guy, he’s a black. He’s big—I forgot his name—he’s really big. And I’m a
small guy, so at the time we monitor the tape drive, every night we pull all the tape that
we don’t use anymore, then we clean it up, we call it the scratch tape. And my arm is just
about four or five tapes, that’s big enough—that’s enough. But for him, ten or fifteen.
(Brody laughs) He always help me to—
BRODY: To carry.
TRAN: Yeah, to carry all the tape. He’s really—I met many people that they treat us very
well. And I met a guy when we’re still living in campus at the University of Plano, there
was a salesman. He sells the compressor. So one day stopped by the campus and took me
and my brother to his home for meals.
BRODY: Oh, that’s nice.
TRAN: And then he give us $100. And he told us one thing: “I don’t require you to do
anything for me, but if some day you have opportunity, you need to help other people.”
And I have an experience when I was working at the Sun Oil as a data controller—that’s
the next level from the computer operator. The next level is programmer analyst. There
was a manager, she was a pilot, World War II pilot. And somehow, she really liked me
and she fought with the other managers. “Oh, I like Bac,” she didn’t care when she get
mad, she spoke loudly. She want me to—she want to move me up to the—to give me—
BRODY: The promotion.
TRAN: —to give me that position, yeah. And finally she got the position for me.
BRODY: That’s great.
TRAN: So, I mean, not only that, but many other examples. I only _______ about the
good people. So that’s why I think including Monsignor Weinzapfel. So I think I met so
many, many Good Samaritans. So I don’t know, I don’t have much experience about the
BRODY: Right. Well that’s good.
TRAN: Yeah. Including not only the white, but the black, and everybody treat me real
nice. And so I—the first Christmas, the people in the data centers of the Sun Oil
company, they put together, give and donate a lot of food, a lot of stuff, and they give to
my brother and me. But we stack up one Volkswagen, full of one Volkswagen.
BRODY: Wow, you got full of donations.
TRAN: Yeah. So I—all I have—of course I have some bad experience, but not very
much, but that not because American or non-American, that’s a human being. Wherever
you go on the world, you still run into the good people and the bad people, all the time.
So I don’t regard as the discrimination.
BRODY: I understand, that’s great.

Segment Synopsis: Tran describes experiences of hospitality he encountered upon his immigration to the United States.

Keywords: Christmas; Monsignor Weinzapfel; Vietnam War; Vietnam veterans; Volswagen; car; discrimination; kindness

01:03:52 - Housing Process After St. Pius X

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Partial Transcript: So in terms of after—initially you guys were all
living in the house near St. Pius X. How did the process go, did you stay there for a long
TRAN: We stayed there about a couple years. But, I mean, that first month Monsignor
Weinzapfel, he got money from USCC, okay? So he paid the rent for us.
BRODY: From Catholic Charities [USA]?
TRAN: Yeah, Charities. Paid the rent for us. I think at that time fairly cheap rent, may
not be very expensive, but he paid the rent for us until the fund was out. We have ten
people, so they assigned for us about $3,000. So he paid until they ran out, so he assumed
the financial responsibility. So we’re there, stay about two years, then we bought another
house, bigger house, but nearby in the same zip code.
BRODY: Did the whole family stay together?
TRAN: Yeah, the whole family stay together. That’s our custom, we stay together until
my sister got married, so she move out. Until I marry, move out, and then until—yeah.
Everybody, we stay that way. Because we stay together so we save a lot of money, and
that’s why we can afford the house. I don’t know the next wave of immigration, but the
very first wave of immigration, we always want to live independently. And that’s why it
surprise a lot to the local peoples in our areas. We don’t demand and we have a very
minimal needs for our life. One funny thing is—or funny story is when they took us from
Guam island, they flew to the US and they had to stop the airplane, had to stop at Hawaii
airport for a few hours. My mother, at the time, she was about fifty-three years old. But
when she stay at night, she stay in that airport, she lay down on the carpet on the floor.
She said, “I can stay over here. I feel comfortable enough.” (Brody laughs) We don’t
have a lot of demand when we came over here. We’re living together until we got
marriage than we move out. Like I said, me, I got marriage in 1982, move out.

Segment Synopsis: Tran discusses living conditions of their house after moving out of church provided housing.

Keywords: Monsignor Weinzapfel; St. Pius X; customs; extended family; family; housing; marriage

01:06:44 - Building a Family in the United States

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: How did you meet your wife?
TRAN: I meet my wife at—my wife is actually—my friend actually working together
with my wife in the Wichita, Kansas. They work in an airplane manufacturer. He got
wedding, in his wedding, I attend his wedding party and I met my wife over there and so
from there we make friend and we know each other and then—
BRODY: Get married. That’s a nice story.
TRAN: We got marriage, and—as I go back, as I said, I really—we really emphasize on
the education. Not only for ourselves, but for our children also, and that’s why we can
sacrifice heavily, sacrifice everything for the education of the kids. And like—I send all
my kids—I have two sons and two daughters—send them to Baylor.
BRODY: They all went to Baylor?
TRAN: The first one, my son, at the time in 2001, 2002, he started to go to the Baylor.
It’s about $18,000 a year for room and board. And my youngest daughters started to go
the Baylor in 2011. It’s about $50,000 a year.
BRODY: Wow, that’s a dramatic—
TRAN: Yeah. We sacrifice everything for the kids. So sometime some people in my
company at the time—I was working with Hunt Oil. He said, “Bac Tran, he just helped
the Baylor to build a building.”
BRODY: (laughs) They should name a building after you.
TRAN: (laughs) Yeah. They don’t realize that we really sacrifice for the education, and
that’s why you can see many kids are very successful right now. That tradition is rooted
in the Vietnamese culture. It’s a long time, and still going on right now, not only abroad
but in Vietnam also. I normally go onto YouTube and watch some shows, you know, that
some Vietnamese parents, they are farmers, they are fishermen, they have nothing, but
they sacrifice everything for their daughter or for their son so that they can move up to
become the actress, to become the singer or everything. They can spend almost most of
their fortunes.
BRODY: Right, so that the family and education—
TRAN: Yeah, family, education. That’s the culture. It’s different from here also. Over
here, they sacrifice for the kids, but not to that level. They have to save for themselves
also, okay. It’s a different cultures. I’m not saying that who is better, but it’s just a
different cultures.

Segment Synopsis: Tran discusses how he started and raised a family in the United States, and the sacrifices he had to make.

Keywords: Baylor University; Kansas; Marriage; Vietnamese culture; children; education; values

01:10:34 - Future of the Vietnamese Culture in the United States

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: So tell me about the Vietnamese community here. Do you see that same culture
transitioning and staying solid here in Texas, here in the United States? Those same
traditions and values, are they being passed down and carried on in the younger
TRAN: The younger generation, of course, they’re more Americanized, and that’s why
you have to believe in the education. Like, my children, we only speak in Vietnamese,
and sometimes even right now I send them a Snapchat just, like, this morning with the
text written in Vietnamese. They understand, but they feel more comfortable speaking
English with each another. Even Yen is my niece, she feels more comfortable with the
English, okay? Not only language but I think the culture or the way of thinking, lifestyle,
learning, probably they feel more comfortable. And the change—we have to accept the
changes. We cannot stop the changes, that’s the realities. And that’s why the Chinese,
they very wise, they have a book written six thousand years ago, we call the Book of
Changes. If you don’t change, we have to live and if we want to live, we want to survive,
we have to change. But we have to keep our roots, and that’s why I want my children
know how to speak Vietnamese, know how to enjoy the Vietnamese food, other
Vietnamese cultures, yeah. But we have to change.
BRODY: Yeah. How, in your family, have you cooked together, taught your children
how to cook Vietnamese food? What role have those kind of traditions played in your
TRAN: Yeah, my wife is very good about that. But my children, they know how to make
some Vietnamese dishes but not as my wife expect. She’s a very good chef.

Segment Synopsis: Tran explains what he believes to be the future of the Vietnamese culture in Dallas, and its inevitable changes.

Keywords: American identity; Book of Changes; Englsh language; Vietnamese community; Vietnamese language; cooking; culture; food

01:13:31 - State of the Vietnamese community in Dallas today

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: Yes, that’s a good compliment. Are you very involved in the larger Vietnamese
community in Dallas?
TRAN: Not at this time—
BRODY: Not right now?
TRAN: Yeah, not right now.
BRODY: What is your impression of that community? Is it a unified community, or are
there a lot of differences, or is it just very big?
TRAN: It’s—we still connect to each anothers, but it’s not solid, not cohesive like in the
past. In the past we always find the opportunity to meet each another, but right now,
BRODY: Why do you think that is?
TRAN: That’s what I’m saying, it’s just change. Everything is changing, even in
Vietnam. You know that we have a custom in the New Year, okay, we spend fifteen days
to celebrate New Year, big festival. We go out and meet and visit each another. But now,
in these—over here, we don’t do that anymore, but in Vietnam, they start to abandon that
custom also.
BRODY: Really?
TRAN: Yeah. And things—I mean, in Vietnam we have the—back to the old days, very
strictly, we don’t live together before we got marriage. We carry out that custom to over
here, but now people over here, the young people, they don’t care about that. But we
don’t criticize them because in Vietnam they’re doing the same thing.
BRODY: Right, the same pattern.
TRAN: Yeah, the same pattern. It’s everywhere in the world.
BRODY: Just modern life.
TRAN: Modern life. People used to blame on the—online or the communication here that
is spreading. Sometime I think about that also, but I think back to the old days. Why—
back to the old day, the science and technology was not very advanced, we don’t have
that mass communication. Why, back to the old day, in the fifth century BC we start to
have some kind of religious leaders, started to go out, you see the movement, like
Buddha. And then you go back to the China, you will see the Confucius. It’s the same.
They don’t communicate together, but that like, go—when the human being go through
that point of the history, they start to see the similar things. The philosophy started to
change. So I know it’s—everything is change. But if we can keep our roots, maybe

Segment Synopsis: Tran contrasts the modern Vietnamese community to the past community.

Keywords: Dallas; New Years; Vietnamese community; celebrations; culture

01:17:04 - Involvement in Politics

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: Yeah, the roots. Are you involved in politics in either—or keep up with politics
in either the United States or Vietnam? Are you interested in—
TRAN: I’m interested in current events, but I mean—political events. I’ve been reading,
but I don’t involve into it, because I—like, tomorrow, we go out and vote. I identify by
myself as an independent voter. I don’t want to belong to either, but I just vote on the
issues it depend on.
BRODY: In what way do you think your life experiences—both before you came here,
your refugee experience and then your life here as an American—inform your view on
different—you know, in politics?
TRAN: We left Vietnam, we are the first group of people who—first, 130,000 people
who left Vietnam. Most of us left Vietnam for the political reason. So we don’t come
over here for financial or economic reasons, because we didn’t accept the communists.
As I said, I was originally from north of Vietnam. So all my father took us from north of
Vietnam to south of Vietnam in 1954 when I was five years old. And I am a Catholic
with a root of anti-communist, and I still believe that communist is not good as of today,
as of this moment; I still don’t believe the communist is good. So we came over here with
a political reason. And we think in the United States we have democracy—even right
now, of course, in any society you still have a lot of issue, you still have a lot of things to
be improved. But this country have a very good systems, if people is aware about that and
try to improve upon that. But in these days I can sometime (unintelligible)—everything
Democrats say, then the Republicans say, “Not good, no good.” And everything
Republicans say, Democrats say, “No good.” And that’s why you go back to the Gospel,
many times Jesus Christ perform the miracles to cure the deaf. I think if we don’t listen to
each other I don’t know how can we improve our societies.
BRODY: That’s a really good point.
TRAN: But we still have a very good system. I still believe in that. And when you
believe through the systems you can do better things for our societies. In the last ten
years, I work as a database administrator for Hunt Oil. I never request to have merit. I
don’t demand much, but my manager—he retired three years before me—he know that. I
still got a very good merit; I don’t demand it. So I truly believe that when we trust the
system and we do the work, we do the best we can, we can improve the system. The
political system over here is still good. I still trust that and that’s why I came over here. If
we are living under the communist, it’s terrible. And many well-educated Vietnamese
people that came over here, they started to criticize the south government back before
1975. They write book, they write article, but they didn’t realize that they build up their
education, they got their degree, they move up in the society in south of Vietnam. They
didn’t move up and they don’t get the degree from the north of Vietnam. So, I mean, it’s
the same thing over here. If we believe to our system, we can improve it.

Segment Synopsis: Tran gives his opinion on the political system in the United States and how it contrasts politics in Vietnam.

Keywords: American politics; Catholicism; Communism; Culture; Poltiics; Roots; Vietnamese politics; democracy; politics; refugees; religion

01:22:40 - Being American

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Partial Transcript: BRODY: Thank you. My last question for you is one that, I’m curious—to you, what
does it mean to be an American? Whether it’s yourself or your kids or grandkids, when
someone says “I’m American,” in a few words, what does that mean to you?
TRAN: I’m proud to be an American. Even deep into my heart, I still thinking I’m a
Vietnamese, but I’m proud to be an American. American stands for freedom,
independence, and that’s what I’m looking for.
BRODY: That’s great. Well, thank you very much. Is there anything that I didn’t ask you
that you’d like to comment on?
TRAN: I think you asked me all—yeah, I think that’s all I can contribute. (laughs)
BRODY: Oh, thank you, it’s been wonderful to talk to you, and thank you very much for
sharing your story. It’s been a pleasure, thank you for having this conversation.
TRAN: Thank you.

Segment Synopsis: Tran explains what being American means to him.

Keywords: American; American identity; freedom