In memory of Tran Thang Tai
HERO TRAN THANG TAI
By Tran Ngoc Anh
Tran Thang Tai was born on February 8, 1945 and had worked for the S.3 Office at the General Headquarters of the Paratroopers Corps, Army of the Republic of Vietnam before 1975.
After 1975, Tran Thang Tai joined “Luc Luong Vietnam,” organized by Tu Man and Reverend Buddhist monk Tue Si against the Vietnamese Communist Regime. The Vietnamese Armed Forces stationed in bases hidden at Nui Be, Binh Tuy- now known as Binh Thuan Province in Central Vietnam.
Arrested in March 1979, Tran Thang Tai was transported in the same truck with his wife, Tran Ngoc Anh and his one-year old son, Tran Thang VyDan to the same jail. It was the last time he could see his son even though the family lived in the same location. Deprived of food, specifically of calcium and other vitamins needed for the toddler’s mental and physical development, his son had fallen into a vegetative state after 8 years in jail. Then, the non-profit organization La Terre Des Hommes from Switzerland, came to rescue the frail and disabled boy from the jail despite his mother’s mixed feelings of hope for her son’s recovery and despair for the time until the reunion with her son in the future. The 8-year old son, now 38, continues his miserable vegetative life in Switzerland. He can express his joy and his happiness or sadness with his mother only by one act: showing or retracting his tongue. The longer tongue he can show corresponds to the high level of his happiness.
During their jail life, Husband Tran Thang Tai and Wife Tran Ngoc Anh met each other after their arrest only once at their trial. Tran Ngoc Anh had to serve 11 years while her husband received the death penalty. On the day of her husband’s execution, Tran Ngoc Anh requested a moment for her son to say good bye to his father, but her petition was rejected. Tran Thang Tai was executed at Phan Thiet, Central Vietnam, on June 14, 1982 without seeing his wife and son. The patriot died at his young age of 37.