|Vietnam War Memorial at Freedom Park, Westminster, CA. Photo from|
As a kid I never really gave much thought to Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or even Black April. It was only until just this past summer that my dad finally shed some light in his time with the Vietnamese Army during the start of the Viet Nam War. During his early twenties my dad (like most young men) received training to fight in the army against the Viet Cong. Some time during this period he was lucky enough to meet my gorgeous mother, marry her and have a baby (my older sister).
My dad went on to train with the army, earned the rank of Lieutenant, and was later honorably discharged due to an injury - a gunshot wound right below his right calf. While in the army, my dad made some really great friends with the men in his infantry; in fact, they had their very first reunion in Orange County during the summer. From what he told me, he and everyone there had a great time reminiscing about their time before and during battle. Since my dad was discharged early on, he did not get to fight during the most grueling parts of the war with his men. That summer reunion was the first time EVER he got a chance to see them after the war.
My dad, being the techy guy that he is, brought along his iPad with some scans of old photographs of him with his comrades, him after graduating from the academy, and him in uniform. From what he told me, his comrades were surprised that he had so many pictures and wondered how he kept them from the Viet Cong. His answer: my aunt kept them safe and brought them to America after escaping the old country.
Dad, if it weren't for you, mom and your two awesome kids wouldn't be here today. Thank you for serving and teaching your kids to be proud of our countries (both the US and VN) and our heritage! Happy Veterans Day!
(BTW, how is my dad celebrating this holiday? By taking a well-deserved vacation with my mom in Beijing :) I'm very jealous).