Land of Opportunity
Next time someone says the deck is stacked against them or they just can't succeed in this country tell them about Commander Hung Ba Le, U.S. Navy.
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. Thirty-four years later, he made an unlikely homecoming — as the commander of a U.S. Navy destroyer.Read the rest. Also, Commander Le is not the only example of American success in his family.
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.
Le has few memories of his three-day journey on the fishing trawler, which ended just as they were running out of food, water and fuel.Any father who has a son who wants to be like him is definitely a success.
But he has vivid memories of the example set by his father, Thong Ba Le, who is now 69 and has never returned to Vietnam. After the family settled in northern Virginia, he took a job in a supermarket, where he worked his way up from bag boy to manager.
"I always wanted to be like my dad," Le said. "He persevered and overcame many challenges."