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The War Destroyed Our Home, Our School, and Our Workplace

by Lamchit Phongphouthai

(Originally appeared in Coming Home from War, March 2010)

JSI/WEI Photo Library Photo
The war affected my family life. During the war, my family had no place to live, no education, and no work.

When the war was going on in my country, my family had no place to live. The house was burned down by the gun fire. The government and the communist military fought each other every day. My family had to move from place to place all the time. We had to keep moving because there was gun fire almost everywhere. We had to find a place to hide from the gunfire.

The war also destroyed the schools. My family and people in the town could not go to school. We had no chance to study. We had no education at all.

The war destroyed the workplace too. The company had to close so no one had a job. We had no money to buy food. We could not work on our farm because of the gunfire. It was very hard to get a job.

The war affected my family so badly. We had no place to live. We could not go to school because the school was destroyed. We had no jobs and we could not work on our farms. That was very sad for my family.

After the war, I escaped to Thailand and was put in a refugee camp for two years. In 1985, I went to the Philippines where I studied English for six months. Then I came to the United States and lived in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where I worked in a clothing factory. After six months, I was laid off. I moved to Vermont and worked for a paper company for fourteen years. When that job ended, I moved to Arkansas where I live today.

Lamchit Phongphouthai was born in Laos. He has three brothers and two sisters. He lives in Fort Smith, AR, where he studies at the Adult Education Center.

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