I am not one to go out of my way to see a celebrity. However, I was drawn to get a good view of General Vang Pao at Fresno's 90th Annual Veterans Day parade. I suppose I was caught up in the moment because of the legendary and controversial military history of General Pao. At any rate, I can add him to my very short list of celebrities I have seen. I was equally impressed, however, by the large number of Hmong soldiers who marched in the parade. Seeing them brought home the message that we do not go it alone in this world. We are all interconnected.
As the Hmong soldiers marched past me, I also thought of my father, who joined the U.S. Army during WWII . . . and he was not even a u.S. citizen at that time. He proudly served as a Scout in the Philippines and received a Purple Heart. Fortunately, he was only shot in the leg. Although he died when I was only eight years old, I can remember his telling me to be thankful that I was born in America and to always be proud to be an American.