Front left: Ngu Duong, Tuy Nguyen, Dong Nguyen and Nghiep Nguyen. Rear left: Tuan Tran, Tu Le, Tuan Pham, Hon Truong and new Board President Phuc Ngo. (Photo by Duong Ngu)
By Mai Hoang
The Annual Meeting of The South Vietnam Military Service Fellowship of Minnesota was held at U Garden Restaurant in Minneapolis on June 19, 2011, which is also South Vietnam Military Day, a special holiday created by the Republic of (South) Vietnam Government 50 years ago. The South Vietnam Military Day tradition continues past the fall of Saigon in 1975, in expatriate communities of former veterans and citizens of the Republic of Vietnam. Vietnamese organizations and around the United States and the World have organized this special holiday, including Minnesota.
The Vietnamese Military Service Fellowship of Minnesota celebrates the holiday with two major events, a memorial service and an annual meeting and election of the Board of Directors.
In the first event, an organizing committee and participants presented a program with a focus on the history of South Vietnam and the roles of its military personnel. The South Vietnamese Armed Forces was regarded as a strong and high-ranking profession in society.
The program speakers reflected on the Vietnam War and said much of the reason for its loss was due to the relationship between the United States and China. With the exodus of South Vietnamese military and civilians after the war, including some that spent anywhere from five to 20 years in military prisons and reeducation camps
Many similar organizations continued to advocate after the war against the communist government after it failed to be more inclusive with the former Republic in establishing a new government. Today, these groups continue to advocate for imporived human rights and religious freedoms in Vietnam. They also bring attention to the world stage on what they call the encroachment or invasion of China on Vietnam’s land and sea border areas.
In the election of 2011 Vietnamese Military Service Fellowship of Minnesota Board of Directors, the Election Committee included Ngu Duong, Tuy Nguyen, Dong Nguyen and Nghiep Nguyen. The process included the nomination, acceptance and presentation of individual candidates. The members then elected a president and four other board members.
The new 2011 Board Members include incoming President Phuc Ngo, and board members Hon Truong, Tuan Pham, Tu Le and Tuan Tran.