From Vietnamese Refugee to U.S. Military Officer


Kanagawa, Japan


Lt. Col. Lan Dalat, U.S. Army


Did you know that Vietnamese American refugees serve in the United States military? Here’s Lt. Col. Lan Dalat’s story.

“It has been a long road to becoming a Lieutenant Colonel, especially as an Asian American. I get asked a lot of questions: How did you become an officer? Were you born in the United States? What I can say is that I have had to work much harder to achieve the level of respect and achievement that I have today.”

Today, over 65,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders serve in the United States military. In fact, the story of AAPIs in service has been seen at every turn: at the birth of the nation, during the Civil War, in both World Wars, and current-day conflicts.

 

This story was originally published in 2018 via AARP x NextDayBetter storytelling campaign.

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