2016 was my first trip to Viet Nam and the chance to visit the orphanages with Dave Chaix leading the way. I returned for four more trips since and each time I go back to the FVSO orphanages I become more committed to the children and the need to help in any way that I can.
On my first visit, my wife Susan, now deceased, and I met an wonderful girl at VSO 6 named Y Uen. She talked to us in broken English, explained that she wanted to be a teacher and from watching her with the other children at VSO 6, we knew that she was going to be a leader and a great example for all the other children. We decided to help her with her college education and she has become a wonderful young lady and has kept us informed about her life in school, her grades, friends and her continuing personal assistance and support at VSO 6. She is a great example of how ”pay it forward” will work. I have been helping her and she is continuing to help out the Sisters and children at VSO 6.
I am passionate about helping the children and wish I could do more. On my third Visit met a young lady at VSO 5, Y Lay. In talking to her through Tano, I found out that she also wants to help the children at the orphanages in the future and possibly become a Sister. When she is ready, I would also help her with her advanced education.
For a brief summary of my background, I graduated from California Maritime Academy in 1971 and became a licensed Marine Engineer in the US Merchant Marine. At the same time, I received a commission in the US Naval Reserve as an Ensign. I worked in some capacity of the maritime industry for the next 41 years, either on a ship or working in the office with ship management, safety, or inspections.