ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our beloved Father, Grand Father, Great...Great...Great..Great-grandfather, Nguyễn Ngoc Xuân, born on March 15, 1923, and passed away on January 7, 1990. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Phú-Cường Nguyễn on April 20, 2021

Tiểu sử của Ba tôi cho thấy đời ông giống như của bất cứ một người Việt bình thường nào khác, đã từng sống qua trong giai đoạn xáo trộn nhất của lịch sử thế giới.

Dù muốn hay không, đời Ba đã đi xuyên suốt theo dòng sử Việt, tốt hay xấu, vinh hay nhục, thăng trầm theo thời cuộc.

Từ một thiếu niên con nhà giầu cho đến anh du kích kháng chiến, rồi trở thành kẻ vượt thoát chạy trốn. Từ một Hạ-Sĩ quèn cho đến “Thượng-Sĩ Thường-Vụ" đầy quyền lực với lính, rồi cuối cùng là “Sĩ-Quan Xử-Lý Thường-Vụ “, Ba đã kinh qua đủ tất cả!

Dù Ba đã có những gì, hay bằng cách nào để đạt được nó, Ba vẫn luôn là người Hùng thật sự của chúng con.

Ba giống như những người lính già từng trải, sẽ không bao giờ chết, và cũng sẽ không bao giờ phai mờ tan biến đi, mà chắc sẽ sống cùng với chúng con mãi mãi...! 
Posted by Phú-Cường Nguyễn on April 17, 2021
Dad’s biography shows his life was like any other ordinary Vietnamese who unfortunately lived through the most turbulent periods in world history.

By choice or not, Dad’s life traversed alongside the course of Vietnam’s history, in good and bad times, whether it be in or out, up and down.

From a rich kid to Guerilla who later escaped, from a Corporal to powerful Sergeant, and then finally Executive Officer. Dad went through it all!


Dad, no matter whats you had, or how you did it, you deserve to be our real Hero.

Dad, you are like an experienced, old soldier who never died or faded away, but will live with us …forever!

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Posted by Phú-Cường Nguyễn on April 20, 2021

Tiểu sử của Ba tôi cho thấy đời ông giống như của bất cứ một người Việt bình thường nào khác, đã từng sống qua trong giai đoạn xáo trộn nhất của lịch sử thế giới.

Dù muốn hay không, đời Ba đã đi xuyên suốt theo dòng sử Việt, tốt hay xấu, vinh hay nhục, thăng trầm theo thời cuộc.

Từ một thiếu niên con nhà giầu cho đến anh du kích kháng chiến, rồi trở thành kẻ vượt thoát chạy trốn. Từ một Hạ-Sĩ quèn cho đến “Thượng-Sĩ Thường-Vụ" đầy quyền lực với lính, rồi cuối cùng là “Sĩ-Quan Xử-Lý Thường-Vụ “, Ba đã kinh qua đủ tất cả!

Dù Ba đã có những gì, hay bằng cách nào để đạt được nó, Ba vẫn luôn là người Hùng thật sự của chúng con.

Ba giống như những người lính già từng trải, sẽ không bao giờ chết, và cũng sẽ không bao giờ phai mờ tan biến đi, mà chắc sẽ sống cùng với chúng con mãi mãi...! 
Posted by Phú-Cường Nguyễn on April 17, 2021
Dad’s biography shows his life was like any other ordinary Vietnamese who unfortunately lived through the most turbulent periods in world history.

By choice or not, Dad’s life traversed alongside the course of Vietnam’s history, in good and bad times, whether it be in or out, up and down.

From a rich kid to Guerilla who later escaped, from a Corporal to powerful Sergeant, and then finally Executive Officer. Dad went through it all!


Dad, no matter whats you had, or how you did it, you deserve to be our real Hero.

Dad, you are like an experienced, old soldier who never died or faded away, but will live with us …forever!
his Life
In Memory Of Our Beloved Father

Nguyễn Ngọc-Xuân

(1923-1990)

Chapter 1 – (From Rich Kid to Guerilla) 


Our father was born in the Bình-Thành village, Ninh-Hòa District, Khánh-Hòa Province. Bình-Thành was a small, but prosperous village, located along the main highway (currently National Route 26), about 30 km north of the city Nha-Trang.

All I can remember of our father’s figure was a medium-built man whose walk was like a bear, and had a warm smile and powerful-looking eyes. 

In retrospect, told through many of Mom’s and Dad’s short stories, Dad was raised in a comfortable, traditional, and above-average family where his father was working as a village chief.

When Grandpa passed away in 1935, Grandma had to start her own business for a living: trading goods and staples with travelers who frequented between Duc-My and Ninh-Hoa along the main highway (National Route 26). Most of her customers were minority people from Duc-My who traded wild hogs, natural honey, and sometimes cinnamon or agar woods, etc. for local merchandise, like mainly salt and dried seafood. Her business blossomed fortuitously, expanded multiple times, and she became the wealthiest woman in town! It’s been told that when Dad passed the primary school exams, she organized a big celebration party that lasted three days for all relatives and friends in the village! 

By 1940, Grandma sent Dad to Saigon to attend high school. But after several years of studying, Dad decided to come back home because Grandma had fallen seriously ill, and her business had really gone south, as a result of US airstrikes down on the Japanese army bases along the main highway and bridges where Grandma’s trading routes were.

After Grandma’s passing in 1945, Dad left home to join the guerillas forces with his first assignment as a platoon leader. After one or two years, he was promoted as his unit’s Vice Commander.

In the spring of 1947 Dad got married. Somehow, Dad and Mom already knew each other many years before when Dad was a handsome young man from a wealthy family, and Mom was a young beauty queen of her village.   

Unfortunately not so long after that wedding ceremony, Dad learned that his younger brother was kidnapped and buried alive by a local guerillas unit. He was devastated and disappointed of his military organization. The final straw broke a year later, when he was heavily criticized and reprimanded by his superiors for visiting his wife and their newborn baby. Dad proceeded to quit. 

One rainy night, Dad quietly slipped out of the unit’s base camp, returned to the French-occupied Ninh-Hoa. For his own safety and protection, Dad enlisted with the French Army Medical Corp.

Chapter 2:From 1949-1973.

*Back to a normal life of a family man- From Corporal to “Powerful Sergeant”.

With his background, Dad was easily recruited into the French Army Medical Corp. After some basic medical training, he was assigned to a field military hospital in Phan-Thiet, Binh-Thuan Province, with the first rank of Corporal. His second boy – Nguyen Ngoc Anh-Dung was born here. A year later, he requested for a transfer to another hospital in Nha-Trang City near his hometown of Ninh-Hoa, where I was born in 1952.

By 1955, the French Army had completely left the country and transferred all military bases to the government of the Republic of South Vietnam, which was strongly supported by the United States. The hospital in Nha Trang was renamed afterwards as the “Nguyen-Hue Military Medical Center”. By that time, under new goverment transition,Dad was quickly promoted to Sergeant First Class in the new ARVN (Army of the Republic of south Viet-Nam).

In 1958, Dad received the worst news possible; his second son had a fatal brain tumor. Our brother passed away by the end of the year.

Good news tend to follow bad news. Sometime before the new year in 1959, our Dad came home with bright eyes, a happy face, and an usually warm smile that we had never seen before. Dad had just been promoted to “Senior Master Sergeant” (I really did not understand what it meant until many years later!) overseeing all of the enlisted men in the Medical Center.
After his promotion, our family could feel a little bit of his powerful influence. For instance, we could have Doctor examinations without a regular appointment that included extra services; we could go to the cafeteria to play billiards during the off-hours for free; we had the best sit-in places in the open yards to watch good movies like “The Longest Day”, “The Cannon of Navarone(?)”, etc., courtesy of the nearby US bases; and we were able to get free soda from the club manager, including special gifts for us on Christmas and New Year events!
But the best benefit our family received was free housing! We were allowed to move into the Commanders Quarter that had a big villa at the center reserved for the base commander, a 3-4 bedroom house for temporary housing for Doctors or Dentists, etc., and an auxiliary house with three single rooms which was for our family. Around this time, a cute little baby girl was adopted from Mom’s close cousin.


In his spare time on the weekends, Dad liked to take us out to the beach or to the countryside of his childhood village. He had an Italian Vespa that he very much considered as his “second wife”, the words he used to make a joke to his friends. He often rode his Vespa with us, and I always stood in front of him until my height eventually blocked his view!

Dad was tough in disciplining us whenever we were not up to his standards or did the wrong things such as leaving home without permission, getting up late in the morning, etc...,and especially when we had poor performance in school.

Dad’s happiest hours returned to him once more in 1968. One day after the new year around lunchtime, he came home happily with his usual smile without saying a word. We noticed there was a little shining “Alpha” insignia on his uniform! He was just promoted to “Third Lieutenant”; that was the first level of Officer Ranks in the ARVN (created in the 1960’s for new graduates from regular Military Training Schools for Non-Commissioned Officers). His title was also changed to “Executive Officer”.

Once again, sad news always comes after Dad’s happiest moments. Our oldest brother, who voluntarily enlisted with the 7th Battalion of Paratroopers two years before, passed away suddenly from an explosion in the early morning of November 11th, 1968. It was caused solely by a drunken soldier playing with a hand grenade.

Dad had two more promotions to the rank of First Lieutenant before his retirement in the spring of 1973. He was given a final salute by an Honor Guard on his last day.

By coincidence, the United States had just signed the “Paris Accord” with North Vietnam.Most people, including Dad, thought that “Peace was coming”. Unfortunately, it never came.

Final Chapter





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