September 2023
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by Admin

DisconnectHardly a month goes by that I don’t receive 20-30 emails from Saigon Kids (and others) inquiring about contact information for other Saigon Kids.

I also receive many requests from Saigon Kids who’ve reconnected with us, asking to remove their contact information from the mailing lists and directories.

And, I receive some inquiries asking why the email address for a particular Saigon Kid is not up to date, as when email is sent it bounces back as undeliverable.

In the latter case it is usually because they didn’t update their email address when they changed it. It’s up to each individual to keep their email and contact information current. Instructions for doing so are located HERE.

Some folks do not want to reconnect or once they do reconnect they want to disconnect. Here is a recent email I received when someone asked to be removed, as an example why:

“Please remove me from the Saigon Kids directory and mailing lists. It’s not your fault. I get a mini version of PTSD every time I read this. I was there from 63 – 65, a very violent period. I was evacuated out of there. I just can’t deal with reminders.”

As much as it was a wonderful and exciting experience for many of us, that was not the case for some folks.

The reasons for some not wanting to remain in contact are as many and varied as are the reasons some enjoy and want to remain in touch with each other.


  • Maile Doyle

    Thank you for sharing, Bob. I can understand the stress associated with our time in VN, especially if one was exposed to violence as in the case of the coups and the bombings. For me I am able to focus on the lovely time there in school and just being able to explore the culture. So many of my friends are amazed that I lived there and are intrigued about that time. Even some of my Military Brat friends who lived in Europe or Japan are intrigued at the uniqueness of the Saigon experience.

  • Suellen Campbell

    I am in agreement with Maile and can understand the pain someone might experience when recalling living during the violent times in Saigon. Our family was fortunate to live in Saigon when the threats to Americans were “somewhat minimal”(our school bus occasionally being re-routed and my father’s life threatened…maybe not so minimal!)
    My overall Saigon experience was one of making long-time friendships which endure today thanks to Bob and the Saigon Kids network, and soaking in the culture of a beautiful country. The years, 1958-60, changed my world-view and future understanding of third world countries, and helped to cement my undying patriotism for America. I enjoy hearing of other’s experiences and their memories of Saigon because they do help remind me of my own. Thanks, Bob, for keeping it going for all of us.

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Certainly my parents advised me to be careful when I was out of the house but they did that regardless of where we lived. And I suppose my VN time trained me for the Foreign Service where security has become a major concern although it wasn’t always so. Cambodia was a threatening post, sort of, as was Niger following the aborted Iran hostage rescue attempt. But following 9/11, security concerns ran amok and certainly made service overseas in our embassies and consulates less pleasant. But my wife and I always felt that the risk came with the job and we endured.

    Having said all that, I, too, can understand some folks carry their bad experiences even today. I, for one, hate loud noises, especially metal on metal sounds…too much like a rocket exploding. Still, as I said, I can understand…I just hate losing contact with those who I shared experiences with.

  • Sandy Hanna

    I think the experiences we had in Vietnam were the things that have shaped us to be the people we are today. I came back independent and someone who could land on my feet no matter what situation I find myself in. A true BRAT! For me it was the great adventure of my life. I have been trying to remember a number of things and could use some help:
    1. What were our hours at school? 7:30 – Noon?
    2. Were we all in session at the ACS when the Palace bombing started in 1962 or was it before we’d gotten picked up to be taken to school?
    3. I keep seeing Cercle Sportif as the correct name of the club, but wasn’t there a nickname for it like Cirq?
    Looking forward to hearing from any of you.

  • H.Clark

    3. Cercle Sportif is the correct name and it is French. The French letter E is pronounced in several different ways. The letter E in the word cercle is pronounced as in air (the r is silent), thus cercle is pronounced “saircle.”

    Instead of pronouncing saircle for cercle, it’s natural for English speakers to pronounce “circ,” as an abbreviation for “circle.”

    I found most people would prefer to say either cercle (French) or circ (English) when referring to cercle sportif in conversations.

  • Kathy Connor Dobronyi

    I know the nine months I spent in Viet Nam helped make me the strong, caring, capable woman I am today. I also learned there were no guarantees in life, a hard lesson for a twelve-year-old.

    I am concerned about one of our SaigonKids–Elvera Roussel. She was making a documentary a number of years ago before a ration of bad luck hit her hard. I’ve been worried about her. Does anyone know how she is doing? She needs to know that we care and that she is much more than a documentary.

    • Kenneth R. Yeager

      You will be pleased to know that Elvira is still hard at work on the film. My last email from here said she would be travelling to London, Paris and one other stop to interview some SKs in those locations.

  • carol aka carl cini

    Ricky Bucanan and I were play playing golf when the coup occurred. It was an interesting time getting home. Carl

  • Maile Doyle

    Sandy Hanna, the 1962 coup was an early morning attempt. My mother, a teacher, and two of my elementary school siblings were on the bus going to school. My freshman brother missed the bus and was in a can. I was still home to take my baby sister to the dispensary as she was running a fever. Dad was still home, too when our house boy came running into the dining room to call Dad outside to see a “big smoke”. We lived 2 blocks from the Presidential Palace and saw the first of the bombs. We found out later that once everyone was at ACS, the compound was protected by armed MPs.
    In 1962-63 our enrollment was double, so the elementary kids went to school from 7:00to 12:00. Then 7-12 went to school from 12:30 – 5:30. In the morning hours we high schoolers had PE…golf, archery or bowling.

    Kathy Conner Dubrovnikk, I actually have been in contact with Elvera Roussel just a couple of months ago. Her goal is to have the documentary finished this spring. She did have a tough time as caretaker of her parents, but is doing much better these days. I will tell her you were asking about her.

    Finally, dear friends, I hope you are seriously considering coming to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the closing of our school and to bring our shared memories to the Wigwam in Phoenix the end of July. Would love to give you all big hugs!

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Please consider a SKYPE setup at the reunion…would love to chat with some of you since I can’t make it.

  • Maile Doyle

    Kathy Conner Dobronyi, spell check enabled me to murder your last name! So sorry 🙂

  • Sandy Hanna

    I’m in regular communications with Elvera and she is doing well. She is as was said before in London going to Paris this week. She was able to get an assistant to help her and seems to be moving ahead with the documentary. I was interviewed and she has a few more hours of filming to do with me when she gets back. Should be interesting.

  • Doro Britton

    We were in Saigon for 4 1/2 years. I left without trauma. At the time I thought the happenings were normal. In 1972 we went to Saigon for Thanksgiving I was more aware and afraid at the time. I remember many times packing our bags for evacuation. But we left early and avoided the mass evacuation.

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