Tim Chhim, 57, was born in Cambodia. He left home for schooling when he was 9. When Cambodia turned Republic in 1970, Tim sided with the U.S. backed government. Cambodia got caught in the last stage of the Vietnam War. As his country split, Tim volunteered as a student to help fight the Vietcong, N. Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouges.
Tim lost his home to American bombing in 1972. His family was displaced and his father died shortly after. Tim then left for the Cambodian Capital in 1973 to study and work as a Republican police. In 1975, after thousands had died, the Maoists finally won and forced out millions of people from all cities. Tim was among those who were forced and herded out of the Capital. At that time, Tim lost all hope for the freedom he had dreamed of.
Along the way out, the cadres screened for educated people and high-ranking Republic officials. After reaching central Cambodia, Tim was sent to the jungle to be killed. Learning that he would be executed Tim jumped out of death row and ran into the nearby forests. With faith in God and in himself, he escaped rounds of flying bullets. His dream for freedom reappeared.
Tim spent the next few weeks planning to escape. Days later, Tim got caught and was interrogated by Maoist agents. His days were numbered but Freedom was still on his mind.
Learning from adversity, Tim used his personal initiative, self-discipline, positive mental attitude, enthusiasm, and the application of going extra mile principles to form a master mind alliance with 12 other people. After many failed attempts to leave, Tim’s team finally succeeded to start their flight. But, days later, the group got caught in a deep jungle. They were sent to be executed. At last, only Tim and his 2 other friends survived. Tim got to Thailand on August 18, 1975 and to the U.S. in October 1976.
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