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<v Jonathan>To the banks where they deposit the cash they make from the sale of gold and jewelery. <v host>Yea, I think we can safely conclude that Jonathan's judgment of San Clemente <v host>is political rather than esthetic. <v host>Thank you, Jonathan. Many of your thoughts on that refugee situation are graphically <v host>shown in the documentary we're about to see Casey Ities. <v host>News director Bill Wilson has been in and out of that camp for about three weeks. <v host>And here's how cameraman Dick Davies saw the place. <v host>It's narrated by newsmen Clete Roberts. <v Speaker>[indistinct talking]. <v officer>I would like to personally welcome you to both California
<v officer>and to the United States. I cannot tell you for sure how <v officer>long you will be here some were here only a <v officer>week or so. Others have been here for two months. <v officer>We will try to make your stay as comfortable as possible. <v interviewee>They gave us some field jackets, some blankets, <v interviewee>and they put us on a tent. <v interviewee>We were very miserable. <v interviewee>We only saw the tents and it depress us <v interviewee>very much. <v Speaker>[Star Spangled Banner plays ]
<v interviewee>We don't have time to feel sad. <v interviewee>We don't have time to cry. <v interviewee>It is time for decision. <v interviewee>acting, not for showing emotion. <v interviewee>And we know that we want freedom for our children. <v interviewee>For us. And so we have to go <v interviewee>to leave everything that are dear to us our whole life. <v interviewee>We are homesick. <v interviewee>We have to prepare ourselves for a new life. <v interviewee>And I think that when we have a secure <v interviewee>position in this new country, then <v interviewee>Vietnam will be more lovelier than before.
<v narrator>Camp Pendleton in 1975 could be long, tall. <v narrator>In 1967, the long rows of military tents. <v narrator>The Vietnamese families walking hand in hand, the strolling MPs. <v narrator>And always the faces of a people who have suffered through war. <v narrator>It's a bizarre scene. This Marine camp in southern California. <v narrator>Not without irony after the 15 years we spent in Vietnam. <v narrator>But it is a refugee camp where 19000 Vietnamese wonder what kind <v narrator>of country and what kind of people lie beyond the barren hills. <v narrator>Americans are asking questions, too. <v narrator>Since those dramatic days last spring when Saigon fell and <v narrator>out of duty or compassion or conscience, we brought 150000 <v narrator>Vietnamese to America's shores.
<v narrator>Are they all corrupt generals, dope pushers, be girls, <v narrator>all undesirables? <v narrator>Are they people without a will to fight? <v narrator>Losers and failures? <v interviewee>To remember about the past is not good for building a new future. <v interviewee>So we don't want to remember the war. <v interviewee>The way we lost it. <v interviewee>But remember the way we live in Vietnam <v interviewee>and we have to face the future. <v Speaker>[song plays] <v narrator>The Vietnamese and the Marines have developed an easy relationship. <v narrator>Few of the younger men ever served in Vietnam.
<v narrator>Those who did strongly defend U.S. <v narrator>actions there and strongly believe in our obligation to the refugees. <v narrator>One of them is 27 year old Pete Carter, a Navy petty officer <v narrator>on special assignment at Camp Pendleton. <v narrator>Carter arrived two months ago looking for children from a Catholic orphanage he helped <v narrator>support in Vietnam. <v narrator>He's been here ever since. <v Pete Carter>I'm proud of my role in Vietnam. <v Pete Carter>I'm proud of the U.S. <v Pete Carter>in helping as many people as they can. I just wish <v Pete Carter>they could have got more out. <v Pete Carter>Now, I'm called gook lover by a lot of Marines [inaudible]. <v Pete Carter>Well, I think of it as a compliment. <v Pete Carter>I'm a gook lover and I'm proud of it. <v Pete Carter>I speak Vietnamese enough where I get along with the people, <v Pete Carter>you joke with them in their own tongue and they feel a little relaxed. <v Pete Carter>You swap stories. The enemies are big storytellers.
<v Pete Carter>We could learn an awful lot from these people, in turn, they'll <v Pete Carter>learn a lot from us. <v Pete Carter>It's gonna be like two worlds coming together. <v Pete Carter>I just hope they learn the good things, not the bad things. <v Speaker>[song plays] <v narrator>Family is all important for the Vietnamese, and Kai worries <v narrator>about how he'll keep the family together here. <v narrator>There are seven of them, including his wife, who is expecting a second child. <v narrator>His ailing 61 year old mother, a retarded sister, and <v narrator>his uncle, a one time publisher in Saigon. <v Kai>Vietnamese people stick very much together.
<v Kai>We are very close. <v Kai>We don't ever want to be separated. <v Kai>The first thing is the family. <v Kai>Before everything. <v narrator>Kai doesn't understand what he's heard about American families where parents <v narrator>grow old, separated from their children. <v narrator>His older sister Mai thinks about their mother and the traditional <v narrator>family life they shared in Vietnam. <v Mai>All my brother sister are really respectful to my mother. <v Mai>She said that's why. <v Mai>Now she is 61 years old. <v Mai>She has to leave uh Saigon. <v Speaker>[women speaking in Vietnamese] <v Mai>She doesn't have friends here. <v Mai>That's why she's very sad. <v Mai>And she doesn't feel good. <v Mai>When I live in Saigon.
<v Mai>I then realize that I have a really, <v Mai>really easy life. But now realize that the life in Saigon <v Mai>we have not like the type of life that we are going to have <v Mai>here in America. <v narrator>Despite some hardships, Mai's mother will adjust. <v narrator>She has her family. <v narrator>But 82 year old Tran-lee and his wife are all alone. <v narrator>They miss their 17 great grandchildren in the fishing village of Phan Thiet <v narrator>they want to return to their homeland. <v narrator>The old couple fled by boat after a Vietcong attack on their village and they were picked <v narrator>up by a U.S. warship. <v narrator>Before they understood what was happening, they were aboard a plane to the states. <v narrator>They don't like it here. <v translator>They see no reason to stay in the state because they are old people <v translator>and and even the food is not right for them.
<v translator>They are very old and they want to die in their own land. <v narrator>Quonset hut six four four five six is the temporary home of Krom <v narrator>Te Num and the family, the numbers 14 and spans four generations. <v narrator>She's 109 years old. <v narrator>Born in 1867, when an emperor ruled Vietnam. <v narrator>Her son, Wang Luang is 78. <v narrator>Great granddaughter Kett is two. <v narrator>Tante Nahm is a refugee for the second time. <v narrator>She left North Vietnam in 1954 and now <v narrator>at one hundred nine years of age. <v narrator>Why did she leave again? <v Speaker>[speaks in Vietnamese] <v translator>She said, I don't miss Vietnam at all because I have to run.
<v translator>If not, they're going to kill me. <v Speaker>[speaks in Vietnamese.] <v translator>I'm trying to be run as far away from them as possible. <v Speaker>[baby crying while people talk in the background] <v interviewee>Every afternoon when the marines is over with <v interviewee>their duty. The camp is a playground. <v interviewee>Is a playground for children. <v interviewee>I think that that our children get adapted more easily <v interviewee>than us old people. <v interviewee>I have watched some of the children here in the camp. <v interviewee>They're not afraid of, of American people. <v Speaker>[Song in Vietnamese].
<v interviewee>We know that all of us are going to get out of this camp. <v interviewee>So the Vietnamese people are patient <v interviewee>by nature. They know that they have to wait. <v interviewee>But it doesn't prevent them from feeling like prisoner. <v Speaker>[inaudible announcement] <v interviewee>The children call him [word in Vietnamese]. <v interviewee>That's like it's man big, <v interviewee>big man. He is fat. <v interviewee>Yes, but they call him [word in Vietnamese].
<v interviewee>He has been in Vietnam before. <v interviewee>Three years. <v interviewee>That's why he'd like to come over here. <v interviewee>He likes the Vietnamese people and he like to come to help us. <v interviewee>I'm be worried about something outside of here. <v interviewee>He tried to explain. <v officer>This little fellow was separated from his family in Saigon and they just had a family <v officer>reunion. He just flew in him and his brother flew in from Arkansas. <v officer>And this is the first time the family in about three and a half months. <v officer>There's reunions here all the time, people come in from Florida <v officer>and Arkansas and Guam and Wake Island in the Philippines and they're, they finally <v officer>get their families together. You'll see it all over. You'll see it in the mess hall some <v officer>time see it in the PX line. <v officer>I saw one family was in the chow line and people just filled in behind <v officer>it and they turned around and it was somebody they've been waiting for for two months. <v interviewee>Oh they don't know how to cook rice. <v interviewee>They don't know the right way to cook rice.
<v interviewee>I don't even eat it. <v narrator>Life in Camp Pendleton is little more than survival. <v narrator>Three meals a day, bland Marine fare without the spicy <v narrator>not mom fish sauce the Vietnamese so dearly love. <v interviewee>But we don't care about that. We don't care about the food, anything like that. <v interviewee>They're just anxious to get out of camp and start a new life. <v teacher>Fru- oot,. <v students>Fru- oot. <v teacher>Fruit. <v students>Fruit. <v teacher>Restaurant. <v students>Restaurant. <v teacher>Barbecue. <v students>Barbecue. <v teacher>Barb-uh-que. <v students>Barb-uh-que. <v teacher>And. <v students>And. <v teacher>Month. <v students>Month. <v teacher>Month. <v students>Month. <v teacher>Month. <v students>Month. <v teacher>Not quite. Thhh. <v students>[laughter]
<v Pete Carter>They are trying to get the history books to learn about the US. <v Pete Carter>They are trying to get books to learn about the language. <v Pete Carter>They want to fit in. <v Pete Carter>They're proud people. <v teacher>Canh. Soup. <v students>Soup. <v Pete Carter>I'm glad to see them go and I'm glad to see 'em get a home and settled, and, <v Pete Carter>and have something and get out of Camp Pendleton. <v Pete Carter>But in a way, I'm kind of sorry to see 'em go. <v narrator>Camp Pendleton was supposed to be a three day stopover for the refugees. <v narrator>It hasn't worked out that way. <v speaker>You have no sponsor? <v speaker>They're going to Australia. <v speaker>They're the ones that were going to Australia. <v narrator>The exodus has been slowed by the sponsorship program.
<v narrator>Every family must have a sponsor. <v narrator>An American who will accept financial and moral responsibility for a refugee <v narrator>family's first year. <v narrator>The program is run by volunteer religious agencies that attempt to match sponsors and <v narrator>refugees. <v narrator>It takes time to check out potential sponsors, and the checks haven't <v narrator>always eliminated people with questionable motives of cheap labor. <v narrator>There's a shortage of sponsors, too. <v narrator>Americans have been less willing to help the Vietnamese than other refugees. <v narrator>And few Americans can afford to sponsor a family of 45. <v narrator>Every Vietnamese arrival must be investigated by no less than five U.S. <v narrator>security agencies.
<v narrator>No one seems to have failed a security test. <v narrator>So far, no one seems to know what would happen if they did. <v narrator>But the paperwork continues. <v narrator>So the refugees wait. <v narrator>Job opportunities are lost. <v narrator>Big families are subdivided and often sent to sponsors thousands of miles apart. <v narrator>And there's growing despair. <v narrator>Bo Di Kee has been at Camp Pendleton for six weeks. <v narrator>On this day, he was leading, but with only 16 members <v narrator>of the 45 people in his family. <v Bo Di Kee>Today we are leaving Camp Pendleton for Orange, uh county. <v Bo Di Kee>We are sponsored by Reverend F. <v Bo Di Kee>Mornam. That's a Lutheran Congregation in Orange County. <v narrator>Kee was a colonel in the Air Force. He's a graduate of the University of Marseilles and <v narrator>the French Air Academy. <v narrator>He speaks three languages fluently and would like to become a professor at the University <v narrator>of California.
<v narrator>His first job will be pumping gas at a service station in Orange County. <v narrator>This row of tents is isolated from the rest of the camp. <v narrator>It houses some of the 2000 refugees who have decided to return to Vietnam. <v narrator>Not an easy decision. <v narrator>They are mostly young, like an Win Von Saugn, an airplane technician who <v narrator>climbed aboard a military aircraft only minutes before Tan Son Nhat airport was shelled. <v narrator>The communist government has said it will welcome them back. <v narrator>Saugn is a troubled man. <v translator>Yes. He say that he is very afraid to go back to Vietnam, <v translator>but he has a wife and two children back in <v translator>Vietnam. He's afraid of revenge upon <v translator>the Vietnamese who has Opel's in D.C. <v translator>but he has to go back to Vietnam even if he's
<v translator>afraid because of his family still in Vietnam. <v Speaker>[singing in Vietnamese] <v woman>I mean, I'm like. <v woman>I feel that I... <v woman>Could never see Vietnam again. <v woman>Even though I know now I could never see it, but I still want to have a hope. <v woman>I would see it again one day.
<v woman>I would say that the in I'm like like <v woman>in with other girls with, we help good and bad people, <v woman>I would expect that I could meet good people <v woman>who would try to help us, refugee, you know, first <v woman>few months. I'm like. <v Speaker>One, two.
<v TV>Card is the queen of diamonds, and by the way, if you have 21 exactly of any combination <v TV>you have to get a jackpot. It starts at five hundred dollars and goes up five hundred <v TV>dollars a day [inaudible] 1000 dollars. <v TV>That a 21. <v Speaker>[music ends and people applaud]. <v Speaker>[people singing in Vietnamese]
<v narrator>It's not a unique scene. <v narrator>After all, America has always been a nation of immigrants. <v narrator>After two centuries, there's much world history written in the faces of the American <v narrator>people. <v narrator>And these new faces are the raw stock of the American melting pot. <v narrator>They still come in the name of freedom. <v narrator>These generals and fishermen and clerks <v narrator>and farmers from Vietnam and though Vietnam was a painful <v narrator>chapter in our history. <v narrator>For Americans, too. <v narrator>This is no time to cry. <v Speaker>[song continues] <v host>Next week, the Los Angeles News Review, a special report will be the California
Los Angeles News Review
No Time to Cry
Producing Organization
KCET (Television station : Los Angeles, Calif.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
"'No Time To Cry' is a 30-minute documentary which aired as part of a regularly-scheduled weekly news program. The film was taken at Camp Pendelton, California, where 18,000 Vietnamese refugees were based. The documentary investigates why the refugees came to this country, the problems they've encountered since coming here and the deeply-rooted traditions and customs they maintain which are making transition to life in the U.S. difficult. Also, Americans at Camp Pendelton relate how they feel about the impact of the refugees. The film features both refugees who are glad to have escaped the North Vietnamese and some who wish to return."--1975 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: KCET (Television station : Los Angeles, Calif.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
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Duration: 0:30:00
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Chicago: “Los Angeles News Review; No Time to Cry,” 1975-07-11, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “Los Angeles News Review; No Time to Cry.” 1975-07-11. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: Los Angeles News Review; No Time to Cry. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from