Every year during this week, I take a moment to reflect on my past. Life gets hectic with work, hobbies, friends and family. Thirty-eight years ago this week, I left the An Lac orphanage and South Vietnam on an airplane to begin my new life in America. This historic week would soon be call Operation Babylift. It would take 25 years before I would be reunited with other Vietnamese adoptees and begin to understand what happened so many years ago. After all the talk about politics and opinions, there was still over 3,000 children who were relocated around the world. Through the years, I’ve enjoyed connecting with Vietnamese adoptees around the world. I found comfort sharing familiar experiences and knowing that there was someone out there to talk to when I was in need of a shoulder or ear. Thanks to Facebook, we have groups and a mini address book of connections. After the reunion in Baltimore in 2000, I began writing and performing songs about my adoption experience. My life’s work led me to meeting Tammy Nguyen Lee and helping to produce her documentary film Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam. I will never forget our time together traveling, filming and screening our film. I learned so much more about my past and met so many wonderful people who share a common history. Today, I’m proud to be on the ATG Board for my 4th year servicing as Outreach Director. Weeks like this remind me of our ATG mission and my personal inspiration to give back to the Asian American community and continue to produce music and tell stories from my journey.
I wrote a special song for my Vietnamese adoptee brothers and sisters called Something to Save. You’re not alone. Our stories will be shared from generation to generation. Listen here: http://jaredrehberg.virb.com/music
Check out the film and learn more about Babylift: http://www.thebabylift.com/
OPERATION BABYLIFT: THE LOST CHILDREN OF VIETNAM tells the significant, yet untold story of the $2 million U.S. initiative that airlifted over 2,500 Vietnamese orphans out of a war-torn country from the impending threat of the Communist regime. These adoptees grew up facing unique challenges in America, including prejudice overshadowed by a controversial war and cultural identity crisis. Featuring compelling and insightful interviews of the volunteers, parents, and organizations directly involved, the documentary takes a contemporary look at Operation Babylift and its relevance to international adoption today.