My family came to America from Laos after the Vietnam War and Secret War. The Americans’ withdrawal from the wars brought fear as the communists retaliated, forcing my family to flee countless times domestically in search for safety. I was born while my family trekked to a village to surrender after months of hiding. The civil war was a time of homelessness and uncertainty. The communists’ constant arrest of former CIA soldiers, my father included, and their brutality forced my family to flee to the neighboring country of Thailand for safety. At the time, I was old enough to have some memories of the escape. We traveled through the jungle for two weeks before reaching Thailand. Our survival was challenged often and yet we were successful in reaching the Thai shore in the early 1980s. We lived in the refugee camps for a few years before coming to the United States.

I am a social studies teacher in Wisconsin, where I have been teaching for twenty years. My husband and I have four children.

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