Episode 45 – A Feast for Veterans

An illustration of an older man wearing an ARVN uniform. The illustration is black and white except for the South Vietnamese flag on his shoulder, which is yellow and red.
Illustration by Chris Chang-Yen Phillips

Part 3 of our miniseries about the Mirama Dining & Lounge dim sum restaurant: Mike Tulley is a former sound engineer with CJSR. Reporter Nathan Fung talks to Mike about his time working at fundraising events held at the Mirama restaurant, which were organized to help out Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) veterans in Edmonton.

The ARVN was part of the South Vietnamese Army until 1975. Those who remained in Vietnam after the war were sent to re-education camps by the new government, while others managed to flee the country – with some apparently coming to Edmonton.

As Mike had put it, “since they were the losers in that war, the new government of the People’s Republic of Vietnam was hardly going to send them a retirement pension in Canada.” He says that these benefit events were held at Mirama for several years before moving to other restaurants.

spoilers below

Mike also discussed his desertion from the US Army after going through advanced infantry training. It is believed that around 420,000 soldiers had deserted during the Vietnam War, with some feeing to Canada. Some of them could face arrest if caught crossing the border, with several instances happening in the 2000s.

Shout-outs in this episode to CBC Edmonton’s World on Fire podcast and Taproot Edmonton.

Further Reading: 

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