Children of Dust

I read a powerful piece this week written by David Lamb in the June 2009 Smithsonian about Amerasians, The Children of the Dust.  Another piece in TIME from May 13, 2002 also shows a chapter from the story about these children. Then there is the 1991 Broadway musical, Miss Saigon. I’ve seen this musical twice and I’ve always felt the tears.

When Americans fled Vietnam at the end of that war, they left behind a tragedy—thousands of children born from romance, passion and lust. They also left behind a horrible legacy from the Agent Orange sprayed on the rainforests.  Many of these children suffered a cruel fate at the hands of prejudice and hate.

A decade before Miss Saigon and all the rest, I wrote about one child of the dust—that one night became one chapter in an early memoir about my tour in Vietnam. Decades later, that chapter became a short story and was a finalist for the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards.

The fate these children faced was the result of a country without honor running from unfinished business. Don’t let that happen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Discover that short story: A Night at the “Well of Purity”


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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4 thoughts on “Children of Dust

  1. Isn’t Agent Orange very poisonous ? I’ve heard it turns everything black and white in its way. And yes, all the children in war…

    I looked somewhere to do this little input. I know you write about the Viet Nam war and of Asian war tactics on your other blog. But here is something I do want o show everyone about the Finnish war heroes. I don’t like to call any killer hero, but it’s about war so…

    So here is my tiny input about Finnish war ans war spirit, with little more justified pride. I found a well made documentary about the brave Finnish veterans. In this 4th part they talk more detailed about the mentality and strategies at one of the front lines.

    This can also be an example of a war that can be justified. True self defense, love fore ones country and no options given is a way to victory as in victory.

    I hope that all this blown up ego patriotism in this world will find its end. Sometimes I wonder if for ex. America ever have lost enough to learn its lessons of war it self. It’s time to honor the honorable ones in this world. Not necessarily the Finns… you get my point. The price to win is sometimes costly. 1/3 of the Finnish population died for its freedom.

    • I’ve read that the Soviet troops were told there was no retreating and set up machine guns behind the attacking troops. If they ran back, their own machine guns would kill them. They had no choice but to keep going forward.

      • “If they ran back, their own machine guns would kill them.”

        You must mean that the Finns toke it from them in close combat. Yes, they did.

        Ps. Actually the rest of the episodes after that 4th one was all about tactics.

  2. And of course a tribute to all the Finnish veterans.

    I wish I could have seen my grandfather at least once in my lifetime 😦 But today as grown up I need to thank him for his sacrifice.

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