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Christmas with our Forgotten Heroes

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The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, in positive, life-changing ways. DAV supports more than 1 million veterans every year with free, life-changing services. DAV is actively working to ensure that our fellow veterans and their families have access to the resources they need through the holidays and beyond.

This holiday season, like with many previous seasons, the Asian Premier Magazine (APM) team had a chance to spend a meaningful and insightful experience with our favorite heroes, the Disabled American Veterans. It’s in a spirit of holiday greetings, camaraderie, and jolliness all mixed into an eventful event.  Most of all, an opportunity for us to show our obligation to those who have served our country on the frontline.

At the luncheon, if we know of someone who has recently come back from being deployed or who has recently been separated from service, we talk to them. You never know what they may be going through. Or maybe, there is a veteran or veteran’s spouse who is spending the holidays alone for the first time, we would ask them, ‘Hello there. Do you have a moment? Are you doing anything for this holiday? I would love to hear about your plan.’ Every so often that is all they need.

We know that exchanging anecdotes is evermore delightful among veterans. Veterans yearn to tell their stories. Their experiences are rather different if not unique to most common folks. Not all anecdotes are heartwarming and not all tales are heart wrenching. You never know how life everyday emergencies such as nature disasters can have different effects on the veterans. For veterans who are disabled as a result of their service, the effects of fires, floods and other calamities can be even more demoralizing. The sacrifices they made in uniform can make their recuperation much harder. Veterans who endured moving every two years and multiple deployments when losing their house in a tornado or a flood, felt like they had lost everything. Fervent warriors on the facade, they are most vulnerable to these internal mental stresses. Woefully, our government rarely comes through, comes time to help our veterans when they most need it.

As members of the Vietnam war era refugees who came to settle in America, we felt immensely indebted to our veterans for their horrendous sacrifice. We would never be able to escape to this free land without their devotion and selflessness. It has been almost a half century since the collapse of South Vietnam, but those war images still linger vividly in our mind. Every Vietnamese who set foot on this land, whether by boats or planes, owed their freedom if not their life to the Veterans. They never asked for anything in return, but only recognition!

Hence here we are, every year during the jovial holiday seasons, we made it our commitment to come and entertain our wounded warriors, our beloved brothers in arms, mostly neglected and snubbed by the public. We are here to remind our veterans, that we cherish them, and they will never be forgotten.

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