When Katie Tram first tried to flee Vietnam, she was separated from half of her family. It took two years before she saw them again.
Ms. Tram was born in the city of Tra Vinh in what was formerly known as South Vietnam. When she was young, Katie’s father was accused of aiding American soldiers; he was imprisoned and tortured by the government. Upon his release, Ms. Tram’s parents decided the family should leave the country.
During their escape, Ms. Tram’s family was separated into two groups; Katie went with her father and sister. A complication arose, and Katie’s group missed their transportation while her mother and other siblings escaped. Two years later, Ms. Tram successfully left Vietnam. She lived in refugee camps in Malaysia and the Philippines before joining the rest of her family in the United States.
It was difficult for Ms. Tram to adjust to her new life in the U.S. She didn’t speak the language and had to share a small apartment with her large family. At school, she was bullied by her peers for being foreign. Many years have passed since then, and Katie now owns a restaurant—Pham’s Deli—with her husband. She devotes much of her time to volunteering and giving back to her community. Ms. Tram lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota with her husband and children.
For additional information, visit: Pham’s Deli