BEING AMERICANS

Robert C Trando

You have taken the oath of allegiance to the USA swearing to defend this country unequivoquely in case of wars and conflicts. You still remember when waving a small Stars and Stripes flag during your citizenship ceremony in front of the Judge you were overwhelmed with emotion and pride, shedding the stigma of a political refugee expelled from your native country by the Communists and starting your new life as the citizen of this great country with all the rights and responsibilities.

The opportunities offered are boundless and you enjoy full freedom to put your ability and ingenuity to function under the total protection of the laws. You and your family have enjoyed a life devoid of fears. You can go wherever and whenever you like. Your children and grandchildren have total freedom to benefit of the appropriate education of their choice. The police patrol your streets and highways, the agents of the FBI and the CIA monitor any threat, national and international, the federal employees of Homeland Security at our ports of entry, the borders patrols, the firefighters and the medics provide protection as necessary. The soldiers of the armed forces stationed in South Korea, Germany, those who fight and die in Afghanistan and Iraq, they all are your guardian angels preserving your way of life.

Looking at the explosive activities in Little Saigon and other similar localities around the country you witness the vitality and resilience of the Vietnam race having full field and impetus to bloom and prosper. It shows why South Vietnam was ten years ahead of the communist North and why some old cadres in the fight against French colonialists entering Saigon were dumbfounded saying to themselves “we all have been fooled”.

Most of us have come here with nothing. We started doing menial jobs with minimal pay   like all other immigrants before us. I remember when I went on a VIP tour of the US Air Force bases in 1956 I was introduced to a former General of the army of Chiang Kai Sheik doing his humble work of a supply clerk at the base warehouse it did not dawn on me that twenty years later I was in the same boat. The thought of belonging historically to a race of immigrants who for more than four thousand years have waded from the rice fields of South China to the confines of the delta of the Red River, on to the conquest of Champa and then to the maritime territory of Cambodia, fills me with a sense of awe and pride. Fleeing the hordes of Communists from the North to become the Vietnamese Diaspora in America, more than one million souls have shown the resiliency and flexible adaptability in our long march to freedom since the days one of the Viet tribes had fled the rice fields South of the Yang Tse river and founded Dai Co Viet. In the words of President Clinton during his address to the students at the Vietnam National University in Hanoi, “we have seen the talent and ingenuity of the Vietnamese who have come and settled in America. Vietnamese-Americans have become elected officials, judges, leaders in sciences and in our high-tech industry. Last year a Vietnamese-American achieved a mathematical breakthrough that will make it easier to conduct high quality video-conferencing. And all America took notice when Hoang Nhu Tran graduated number one in his class at the United States Air Force Academy. Vietnamese-American have flourished not just because of their unique abilities and their good values. But also because they have had the opportunity to make the most of their abilities and values”.   

We were given that opportunity. We live in a country with complete freedom of speech and opinion. Let us use it to counter the unjust defamation of our soldiers by the neo-left based upon a few instances of cowardice or weakness of leadership as occurred

 in any military organization of the world. Let us say it loud and clear that we did not lose the war on the battleground but rather by behind the scene maneuvering of politicians’ witchcraft.  And also we cannot forget to support our troops.


©Vietnamese & American Veterans of the Vietnam War, 2005 All Rights Reserved

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