Presidents, senators, congressmen, adoption agency directors, nurses and flight attendants claim they were only trying to help us out of the mass grave that would have been our lives if they had just left us in Vietnam to rot in our dead mothers’ arms. They’re at ease with reminding us that it was they who came to our rescue while our countrymen were too busy gambling their country’s future away at the rigged roulette wheel; they’re only too happy to remind us that we were wearing rags before they picked us out of the trash heap and fit us with the rich fabric of freedom.
What they fail to mention, though, is that we were made available for adoption as a direct result of over 6 million tons of bombs falling over a country roughly the size of New Mexico. It was common practice to destroy villages and communities that were suspected of harboring communist sympathizers. Free-fire zones were established in which every civilian was marked for death. Agent Orange defoliated huge swaths of the countryside, and napalm and white phosphorous bombs burned skin to a crisp. Counterinsurgency protocols like the Phoenix Program were aimed at killing Viet Cong cadre and/or their sympathizers, whoever they might be.
Our benefactors make it a point to impress upon us how dire the situation was in the orphanages, nurseries and hospitals, how destitute our first parents were, and that we were abandoned because our mothers either loved us too much or could care less about us. What they fail to mention is that the American government propped up corrupt dictatorial regimes one after the other that pilfered and siphoned off much foreign aid into their own coffers. Money and resources were diverted from child welfare programs into the war effort. Refugee and widow assistance was sacrificed in order to conscript, equip and train more young men to fight for their masters.
Preposterously, our caretakers lauded American military know-how and generosity for clearing the way for scarce medical and food shipments to reach the orphanages. Individual soldiers are to be thanked for giving us their free time, bubble gum and rides in the back of their Jeeps. Some of these soldiers even put down their guns long enough to adopt us. And, when it was time to close up shop and escape the inevitable national meltdown, military air transport was called in to ferry out the precious few, the angels of this-or-that orphanage, the Chosen Ones.