FT. HOOD (KXAN) — Hundreds watched the promotion of the U.S. Military’s first Vietnamese-born General Wednesday. Almost a hundred people from Austin traveled to Fort Hood to watch the historic event.
“It’s an honor, we’re very proud, as Vietnamese-Americans we’re very proud of our own to climb the ranks so high and we wanted to be here to show support,” said Bihn Nguyen with Austin Police Department’s Asian Community Liaison. APD, the Vietnamese-American Community at Austin Texas (VACAT), and Vietnamese Senior Citizen’s Association bused ninety people from Austin to the ceremony at Cooper Field.
Col. Viet X. Luong was the 1st Cavalry Division deputy commanding general for maneuver and was promoted to brigadier general.
“My deep appreciation goes not only to all those folks, but all the institutions and all the soldiers and leaders I’ve had throughout the years to made me who I am today,” said Brigadier General Luong.
Loung was born in Vietnam, but came to the United States in 1975 as a political refugee when he was 10 with his seven sisters and parents. They boarded the U.S.S Hanckock and went to a refugee camp in Arkansas.
The family later moved to Los Angeles where Luong went to the University of Southern California, graduating with a degree in Biological Sciences and a Master of Military Arts and Science. He started his military career after that.
“As a Vietnamese American, and as an immigrant, I am a symbol of democracy of freedom of justice of our constitution.” said Brigadier General Luong. “I live everyday trying to live up to the honor and prestige of one of the owners of that.”
He was deployed to Kosovo and Bosnia along served several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.