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NEWS | May 17, 2019

U.S. Army Reserve Soldier reflects on how heritage has shaped her service

By Spc. Jermaine Jackson 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

An example of someone who personifies the Army values in addition to celebrating her Asian/Pacific-Islander heritage is U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Bichthuy Truong, a Vietnamese American and transportation management coordinator from the 804th Movement Control Team, based in Tacoma, Washington, who joined for tuition assistance among many other reasons.

“I received a call from a recruiter one day, and I was like no this is not for me,” said Truong, “ But, they kept on insisting and I felt like this was a sign that this maybe a good opportunity for me to join.”

She then realized the Army Reserve not only offers a way to receive higher education, but also teaches and instills qualities that assist with her job as a family program supervisor at the YMCA and recent graduate from Seattle University.

“The Army gave me courage,” said Truong, “I was a very shy and reserved person, and I think the military really pushed me to do certain things I would never do in the past. I think it really helped on the civilian side too.”

Truong highlights her family struggles growing up as an Asian American. She highlighted her parents having to work at a young age and not having the proper materials for a grade school education. Still, she is proud of her culture and grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to her.

“It’s important to me because it’s a month to showcase who we are as Pacific Islanders and Asians,” said Truong, “People don’t really know our presence in the U.S. and that month is just dedicated to us to know who we are.”

Truong’s goals for the future include continuing to challenge herself as a citizen soldier while working to help others as a social worker.