Monday, April 8, 2013

Haunting of the Khmer Rouge

Another day with the family and from a few stories I over heard them reminiscing together, I started to emotionally feel the affects the Khmer Rouge had over our family.

Our youngest uncle from our father's side had scars and wounds that hunts even me. I noticed right away his left arm was shorter than his right. Line up all the brothers and he would stand out the most. All the brothers are short and a bit stocky with small buddah bellies, though this uncle was darkest in complexion, taller, gangly and soft spoken.

During the Khmer Rouge era, my grand father was shot down by the Khmer Rouge for no reason at all. As his body fell to the ground, my youngest uncle screamed for his father and ran over to wrap himself around his father's body. Bullets continued blindly and wildly. Once the Khmer Rouge saw my grandfather lifeless, they turned thier cold faces away from my uncle and left.

My eldest aunt told me how she ran to my youngest uncle after the Khmer Rouge left and quickly dropped down to her brother. Her tears ran down her face over her brother's body. With no time to process her father's death, she gathered the her brother's intestines that spilled out when a few rounds exploded around his left side. She held his opened side together with the intestines back in his body. His left arm also got blasted completely off from the biceps. That too was gathered and he was quickly lifted and was carried to the hospital.

My father at the time was at Moung and was not there during the invasion in Battembong.

The doctors were able to save my uncle's left arm with metal pieces and screws. They sew his stomach back together as best as they could.
I catch myself starring at the scars a few times, just amazed how he is still alive. If you outline the scar, it starts from the back of his left side and makes its way around to the front, ending next to his belly button. This may explain why he may never get a buddah belly like his brothers.

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