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The Academy Award-nominated documentary “Last Days of Vietnam” captured the rescue of thousands of Vietnamese during and immediately after the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese communists. But where “Last Days” ended, our story begins.

“Pho For the Soul: Stories of Peace, Justice and Success” tells the harrowing and emotionally gripping story of fifty
refugees who faced physical and psychological devastation, imprisonment, death on the open seas and unspeakable cruelty to survive and create new lives in a new land that they came to cherish. They are inventors, scientists, educators, movie directors, military leaders, government officials, college deans and community leaders, as well as nail salon operators, chefs, tailors and ordinary job holders. But they all possess the one quality that makes them unique  – resilience. Theirs is a story of achievement as well as survival and is told for the first time through their eyes and in their own words.

We call their story “Pho for the Soul,” because like the famous Vietnamese broth, the variety of ingredients, or stories, explodes in a cacophony of viewpoints intended to soothe the heart and soul of anyone who cares about survival and the human condition. This narrative also includes the stories of a handful of non-Vietnamese – a famous Hollywood actress, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and a leader of a major university. While others chose to ignore this largest refugee exodus ever to America, these three chose to help mold new lives for hundreds of those disenfranchised from their families, homes and country.

This collection of reminiscences and reflections is straight from the heart – brutal, heartbreaking, poignant, joyous – and all of it inspiring. It deserves to be in every library and on every college campus in the country as well as part of every high school history class. That is our ultimate goal, but here in California is where we can begin.

The estimate cost of production for a limited run 250-page hardbound text with a photos, maps and schematics will cost $65,000. One thousand copies will be made available for free to the first 200 high schools, colleges or libraries requesting copies, first in San Diego, then throughout California. The balance of the initial run will be distributed, upon request, to community organizations and Vietnamese groups throughout the country. Initial funds beyond the first $65,000 will be used for a second printing to be distributed beyond California and to be sold on line and marketed to 1.5 million persons of Vietnamese descent living in America.

In return, for any donation of $2,500
or more, you will be acknowledged in the forward and receive ten complimentary copies of the book to keep or distribute to friends and relatives. In return for a $1,500 donation, you will be acknowledged and receive one order of the Gear VR headset, access to the Virtual Reality rendering of “The Vietnamese American Experience” and five complementary copies of the book. In return for any donation of $750, you will receive two copies of the book and a video acknowledgement of your contribution on the Asian Heritage Society website.
In addition, donors of $2,500 or more
will be included in a 15 percent equity stake of all future online sales of the book.

The editors of “Pho for the Soul” have more than 70 years of  combined media experience. Leonard Novarro is a former Pulitzer Price nominee who has worked for metropolitan newspapers in New York City, Memphis and San Diego, served as a correspondent for Reuters News Service and been published in more than 100 magazines, newspapers and periodicals. Rosalynn Carmen, founder of Asia Media Inc. and the Asian Heritage Society, is a former newspaper publisher and host of four radio shows in Thailand.
The Vietnam War is the most written about war in American history, but little from the perspective of Vietnamese. Help us change that.
+ 130 donations of $500 each
produce the book and make it available to every high school in San Diego.    For the message behind the book, click here.
 To view the Asian Heritage Society's work go here
and here.

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