former refugee returns to vietnam as u.s. navy officer

This is an interesting story on Hung Ba Le, a former Vietnamese refugee turned U.S. military officer who is returning to Vietnam for the first time since he was a child -- this time as the commander of a U.S. Navy vessel: Former refugee to return to Vietnam as US Navy officer.

Born in the Vietnamese city of Hue, Commander Hung Ba Le and his family were picked up at sea in 1975 by a U.S. naval ship in the closing days of the Vietnam war. His family settled in Virginia and he later became a US citizen, graduating in 1992 from the US Naval Academy.

Le is due to return to Vietnam in this month with his ship, the guided missile destroyer USS Lassen, on a goodwill visit -- his first trip back since he was five years old, just after the fall of Saigon.

According to the Navy, Le is he first Vietnamese American to command a U.S. naval ship. In April, he took over the helm of the USS Lassen, which is part of the US 7th Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan.

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