On US Veterans Day 2007

Paratroopers remembering fallen comrades

Dear VOVINAM family and friends, 

First, I want to share my message of thanks to all Veterans of the US Military here and abroad for their continued sacrifices.   

As a Vet, I will also use this opportunity to reflect and to remember about all my friends – fallen or otherwise.  One in particular was Eric – one of my best friends in the Army.  Eric never knew his parents.  He grew up in the foster care system but managed to graduate from high school and joined the Army.  We met at Fort Benning, GA and became the best of friends, especially after finishing Paratrooper training because we were the only two guys who didn’t have any family to visit and to congratulate us.  To make the long story short, Eric passed away in a firefight in the jungle of SE Asia on the border of Thailand and Burma.  I was his only family – the Army family. 

So every year, I was the only known family who would drink with Eric while watching a game or sitting out looking over a lake, or something.  That has been my commitment to my brother Eric almost 9 years ago.   

I want to share with all of you about this story not to make your day go sour.  Precisely the opposite – I challenge you to live your life today to its fullest potential, and being conscious on everyday that our security, our comforts, and our achievements have always been built on the sacrifices of many others – willingly or not.  So, let’s not all wound up over personal pettiness, temporary set-backs, or even balk down over what seems to be overwhelming odds.  Let’s focus on doing your very best and giving your very best to ourselves, to our loved ones, and to others in our community.  That’s what the way of Viet Vo Dao is all about.   

Sincerely yours,

 Master Linh ThaiVovinam-Viet Vo Dao, USA

 www.vovinamusa.org

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