It's not news - not anymore at least - but it is a fascinating story nonetheless - I found it on the THE BRONZE BLOG featured over there to the right as the BLOGSITE OF THE NANOSECOND - S.L.
DANANG, Vietnam - Saturday, November 7, 2009 - On the day his side lost the Vietnam War, Hung Ba Le fled his homeland at the age of 5 in a fishing trawler crammed with 400 refugees.
That was the day Le and his family embarked on an uncertain journey in a fishing boat piloted by Le's father, who was a commander in the South Vietnamese navy. They were rescued at sea by the USS Barbour County, taken to a U.S. base in the Philippines, a refugee camp in California and finally to northern Virginia, where they rebuilt their lives
Thirty-four years later, he made an unlikely homecoming – as the commander of a U.S. Navy destroyer.
Le piloted the USS Lassen on Saturday into Danang, home of China Beach where U.S. troops frequently headed for R&R during the war, which ended on April 30, 1975, when the southern city of Saigon was taken by Communist troops from North Vietnam.
"I thought that one day I would return but I really didn't expect to be returning as the commander of a Navy warship," Le said after stepping ashore Saturday. "It's an incredible personal honor."
"I'm proud to be an American, but I'm also very proud of my Vietnamese heritage," said Le, who spoke a few halting words in Vietnamese.
And so you should be. You should always love your native land - even if you are an immigrant in a new land. This is a concept I personally know something about. Love of Country is Patriotism - a noble sentiment - this should not be confused, however, with loyalty to the country to which you swear allegiance, nor with like or dislike of the political organization that happens to be running your country. - S.L.
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