Escaping Vietnam: Dale Tran

Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese fled Saigon at the end of the Vietnam war in the spring of 1975. They ran from the oppression of the communists. In many cases they ran to save their lives. Dale Tran’s family was among the thousands who escaped.

In this video, Tran recounts his family’s heroic journey to the United States. In the beginning his parents planned to leave for a short period of time and return to their homeland once the Americans won the war. But for their family, that return would never happen. “What started out as a temporary leave of absence turned into a permanent leave of absence,” Tran said.

Tran’s story is one of many. On Tuesday April 28 at 8 p.m. tune into Alaska Public Media to watch the premiere of Last Days in Vietnam. This film focuses on the personal stories of people living in Vietnam during the fall of Saigon in April of 1975. It details the days leading up to the mass evacuation of U.S. military and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese citizens like the Tran family.

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Kaysie Ellingson got her start as a video producer while attending the University of Southern California for her Master’s Degree in journalism. What started out as a pursuit to become an international reporter for papers became a desire to produce documentaries.While at USC she took on many video projects ranging from various freelancing gigs to starting a web series, ClefCity, where viewers could catch interviews with popular (not mainstream) musicians. But it was her work at IMPACT, the university’s video newsmagazine, that had the heaviest hand in propelling her into video production. She graduated in May 2014 and having never been to Alaska, moved up in the winter of 2015 to work at Alaska Public Media as a video producer.One random bit of information is that prior to graduate school Ellingson worked as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Kazakhstan. Some of her fondest memories involve drinking fermented horse milk, testing out how many people can actually fit into a car and of course entertaining her students with her horrible Kazakh speaking skills. She hopes to return someday soon. In the meantime she is enjoying the similar climate of Alaska.Kellingson (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8419 | About Kaysie