While the story of “Miss Saigon,” a work of fiction, is debatable, Operation Frequent Wind is not.
Forty-four years ago this month president and World War II veteran and veteran of Typhoon Cobra, Gerald Ford, ordered the evacuation of Vietnam. Earlier in the month, he ordered Operation Eagle Pull, which evacuated United States and Cambodian citizens from Cambodia, which went smoothly and successfully.
This time when President Ford ordered Operation Frequent Wind, “chaotic” would be an understatement of the situation. Had it not been for the courage of President Ford and the bravery of U.S., Vietnamese military personnel, as well as the CIA personnel of Air America, their fellow countrymen, both American and Vietnamese, may not have lived to have a chance at life in the U.S.
Since then the Southeast Asian community has contributed much to their country, proven by the protesters of “Miss Saigon” in Madison. The USS Gerald Ford and Ford-class carriers are named for President Ford. This may not have happened had it not been for a courageous president and brave American and Vietnamese that made a successful conclusion to America’s failure -- the Vietnam War -- and allowed others a second chance in America.
Kilton Holmes, Baraboo