RALEIGH, N.C. — For more than 30 years, the state has been welcoming the Montagnards. Now that the U.S. government has lifted some of the post-Sept. 11 restrictions on immigration, the Montagnards are arriving in record numbers. Since June, 900 have relocated to North Carolina, and 150 of those now call the Triangle home.
The Montagnards are a group of tribes that helped U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War. Since the 1970s, many have relocated to North Carolina.
"I've been talking to Army personnel, old vets who were dragged from rice paddies by these guys in the Vietnam War. They were promised we wouldn't let them down and we did," said Jeremy Eggleton of Lutheran Family Services.
Gene Troskey never fought in the Vietnam War, but he is trying to keep that promise.
"Maybe 400,000-some people believe more than that have been killed not just during the war, but after the war for fighting on the side of the Americans. It's not right to just leave them there without American support," he said.
Troskey said he helps the groups get settled into new apartments, find jobs and learn English. With the help of translators, he introduces families to other Montagnards who call Raleigh home.
Lutheran Family Services still expects about 25 additional Montagnards to arrive shortly in the Triangle. If you would like to sponsor a family, you can call Lutheran Family Services at (919) 832-2620.