the american legion's first asian american national commander

Earlier this month in Minneapolis, 63-year-old Fang Wong of East Brunswick, New Jersey was elected National Commander of the American Legion, a mutual-aid organization representing veterans and service members of the United States armed forces, with a membership numbering 2.4 million.

Wong, a Chinese immigrant who served in the Vietnam War as a Chinese language expert, is the Legion's first-ever Asian American National Commander: Chinese immigrant Vietnam War vet Fang Wong becomes head of American Legion veterans association.
"I feel humble and honored," said Wong, 63, a gray-haired Vietnam vet with an easy smile. "I really don't feel different. I'm still me - I want to do my utmost to help however I can."

During the Vietnam War, that meant working undercover for the Army as a Chinese language expert. Later, in New York, it meant helping Chinatown recover from the upheaval of 9/11.

Now that Wong is the legion's first-ever Asian-American National Commander, it means lobbying President Obama to create jobs for soldiers returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The unemployment rate for returning veterans is 28%," he said. "We need the government sector and the private sector to understand that when you hire a veteran you get a very good employee."
Each national commander serves a one-year term, after which a new one is elected at The American Legion's national convention. For more information on Fang Wong, read his full bio at The American Legion website here.

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