They Are All My Family

They Are All My Family

A Daring Rescue in the Chaos of Saigon's Fall

Book - 2015
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"In the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War in April 1975, as Americans fled and their Vietnamese allies and employees prepared for the worst, John Riordan, the assistant manager of Citibank's Saigon branch, succeeded in rescuing 105 Vietnamese. They were his 33 Vietnamese staff members and their families. Unable to secure exit papers for the employees, Citibank ordered Riordan to leave the country alone. Safe in Hong Kong, Riordan could not imagine leaving behind his employees and defied instructions from his superiors not to return to Saigon. But once he did make it back on the last commercial flight, his actions were daring and ingenious. Decades later, Riordan has located the Vietnamese and reconnected with them, sharing accounts of those frantic days and the derring-do it took to get them out to safety" --
Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781610395038
1610395034
Branch Call Number: History 959.704 Rio
Additional Contributors: Demery, Monique Brinson 1976-- Author

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Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Sep 24, 2015

This is a harrowing tale about the last days of the Vietnam War. John Riordan was one of 3 American employees at the FSNB (now Citibank) branch in Saigon. After the bank decided to evacuate all foreign employees Riordan’s sense of loyalty made him go back to help the Vietnamese employees and their families leave the country. Riordan writes very coolly about incredibly tense events. Riordan and all of the families had to worry about their evacuation plans being discovered by the collapsing South Vietnamese government who would see it as desertion, and also had to worry about being targeted by the advancing North Vietnamese. There was also a chance that their paperwork wouldn’t be accepted by the Americans in charge of evacuating people. There are a lot of interesting and historical details in the book about expat life in Saigon during the War, other foreign companies’ evacuation plans, mixed messages from the American embassy, and keeping the bank operating while everything is falling apart. The Epilogue gives updates on many of the people from the book, while also stressing the importance of protecting civilians in wartime.

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