Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An American triumph

1962 South Vietnam, Thong Ba Le graduates South Vietnams Naval Academy and becomes a commissioned officer in the South Vietnam Navy. 1975 Thong Ba Le is now commander of a South Vietnamese naval base. 1975 being the year the commie Viet Cong and commies from North Vietnam saw victory in the war against the once free nation of South Vietnam.

Commander Thong Ba Le told the sailors on this base to return home to their families. Knowing what faith was waiting for him and his family at the hands of the commies, he took half his family abroad a fishing trawler with 400 other Vietnamese fleeing the advancing commies. The other half of his family was further in Vietnam visiting relatives. After a few days at sea, the trawler was about to run out of food, fuel, and water, when they were rescued by an American navy ship, the USS Barbour County.

They were taken to a U.S. base in the Philippines and then transferred to a refugee camp in California, then to Virginia where they rebuild their lives. The father Thong Ba Le worked as a bag boy in a supermarket (Giant Food) later to become manager of that store. In 1983 they became U.S. citizens and were able to send for the rest of their family from Vietnam, reuniting their family.

In 1975 when Thong Ba Le fled Vietnam with him was his five year old son, Hung Ba Le. Hung Ba Le grew up a typical American child. He desired to follow his fathers earlier career in the Navy. He earned a Congressional appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. He too graduated and became a commissioned officer in the United States Navy. Later to become Commander Hung Ba Le of a Navy destroyer the USS Lassen.

Recently the USS Lassen under the command of Commander Hung Ba Le with another U.S. warship, the USS Blue Ridge sailed to Vietnam as a goodwill tour and docked in the Vietnam city of Danang. Commander Hung Ba Le was greeted at the dock by Communist military leaders.

As Commander Hung Ba Le said,

"I thought that one day I would return but I really didn't expect to be returning as the commander of a Navy warship. It's an incredible personal honor. I'm proud to be an American, but I'm also very proud of my Vietnamese heritage. I always wanted to be like my dad, he persevered and overcame many challenges."

Thank you Thong Ba Le for rescuing your family and honoring the USA with the citizenship of you and your family.

Two good links:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/a...
http://regulus2.azstarnet.com/comment...

Link to MrPatriot1776:

http://www.youtube.com/user/MrPatriot...

3 comments:

No Subject said...

Another great video

Keep up the good work

Nick said...

The story is interesting and educational. Mr. Thong Ba Le and his son are excellent citizens, and set good example to all of us. Thank you for writing such a valuable document.

Nick said...

The story is interesting and educational. Mr. Thong Ba Le and his son are excellent citizens, and set good example to all of us. Thank you for writing such a valuable document.