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Children of the An Phong Orphanage

Sun on her face, the little girl at the back stoop of the once-proud French home said not a word.

This strange group of Americans was a diversion from the raw, damp, crowded conditions inside the An Phong Orphange in Vung Tau.

No playground, no mattresses for the room of cribs and crying babies, no soap, little food and no running water.

Children died each night, as did some of the French Catholic nuns who worked to ease the suffering.

Before we left, I lifted the little boy next to her up for a ride on my shoulders. It was a rare bit of human contact for him, and he clung tight.

I had to let him go.

I wonder often if either survived.

For more, please read Angels of An Phong.

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