Jason Lee Lost his Father During the Vietnam War for Writer's Cramp
Jason Lee Lost his Father During the Vietnam War
Jason Lee immigrated to the United States as a young lad with his mother and uncle. He barely knew his father who had died in the Vietnam war during the ’60s when many Koreans went to serve to help the U.S. out in payment for the U.S. coming to their help in the Korean war. Jake Lee’s family had fled to the South from the North. His father died in 1969 after serving there since 1967 when Jake was in middle school.
The loss of his father led his mother to decide to immigrate to LA where her brother had been living and had gotten citizenship and applied for his sister and children to join him. Seven years later their number came up and he immigrated in the late 70s.
Jake Lee had problems first adjusting to the new environment. They lived in a community that was filled with Asians, including Vietnamese. Jake’s mother went to work in a restaurant working with her brother. Jake did not want to work there and studied hard and got into college with a scholarship and loans. Eventually, he graduated and shocked his mother and uncle when he joined the US Army as a Lieutenant and was sent to Korea, Germany, and then Afghanistan and Iraq. And he even served in Vietnam at the Embassy and found out where his father had died.
But he learned more about his father’s exploits in Korea from the Korean Vietnam vet's association. His father had been part of the White Tiger battalion which was well known for its brutality. In Korea, he found a few Korean vets who told him tales of his father, who was well-known for being the toughest fighter of all. His father’s body was never found, and in Vietnam, He found his half-brother and sister, and nieces and nephews as his father had a Vietnamese wife unbeknownst to his Korean wife. That too was quite common.
Note: A fictional story based on real-life events. There were a lot of Koreans who served in the Vietnam war mostly from 1968 to 1971. They were well known for their brutality during the war.
The history of Korea and Vietnam are remarkably similar. Both were on the edges of the Chinese cultural zone and used Classical Chinese as their major script until early modern times, both were independent. countries but paid tribute to the Chinese Emperor. Both used the Imperial examination system until they were colonized, and it was abandoned. Both were colonized by the Japanese (1905 to 1945 Korea) and in Vietnam during the war period, before that, they were French colonies.
In both cases, the eventual leaders of the northern republics (communists) appealed to the US for assistance in gaining independence and said that they would be open to American investment, etc, and would be somewhat neutral although following communist principles.
In both cases, the US refused to talk with them and proceeded to split the country into Soviet and US spheres of influence. In both cases, they listened to the former colonial powers (Japanese in Korea, French in Vietnam). who told them not to trust the communists and said that if there were truly free elections, the communists would sweep the country and of course, they would then not allow American investment or companies in the country. Both then created a pro-western Southern Republic and a Pro-Russian/Chinese Northern Republic.
The Soviets urged Kim to militarily unify South Korea. At that time there were almost no US troops as the occupation troops left in late 1949 and the South Korean army although well supplied by the US was not prepared for the Soviet/Chinese and North Korean invasion (the Chinese only intervened when Mc Arthur threatened to cross the border into China, and the extent of Russia military assistance has never been fully documented.
How the war ended was very different. Korea ended in a stalemate and the two sides are still technically at war there is also tension at the border which is ten miles or so from my house. US troops stayed.
In Vietnam, the war ended with the US walking away saying that it was time for Vietnam to defend itself. When they could not, the US did not come back due to President Nixon’s resignation and the war fatigue in the U.S. Many foreign and military policy experts wanted the US to follow the Korea model but the US negotiated and end to active hostilities.
Korea and Vietnam established relations in the 1990s but there was substantial Korean involvement not only in the war but due to massive construction contracts as the Korean companies built up bases and urban infrastructure as part of their war contributions.
Koreans and Vietnamese felt an affinity towards one another given their shared history alluded above.