The Vietnam War and What Historic Victory Looks Like

By Ed Timperlake

“We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.”

These were President Kennedy’s words from his Inaugural Address, January 20 1961.

With that call to all Americans with a message filled with optimism in spite of significant personal challenges, for a few there became a significant commitment to fight the Vietnam war.

For those of us in uniform from 1965 to 1975, it was a mission of honor even if our generational peers attacked and derided us for just serving in uniform.

It took President Ronald Reagan to validate our service with his direct refutation of those blaming the warrior for the war: “It is time we recognized that ours was, in truth, a noble cause” spoken at a VFW convention in 1980,

It was LBJ who really marched us into “the Big Muddy” and when it got rough for him politically, he metaphorically threw down his rifle and ran away.

But out of tragedy can come greatness.

The book by Hung Cao and April Lakata Cao Call Me an American (Republic Book Publishers) is a declaration that in many ways America has exorcised the ghosts of Vietnam going forward for our Vietnamese immigrants to write the next chapter in our country’s  ever driving forward to be the best hope for humanity.

In his work Captain Hung Cao Captain USN (ret)  of the United States Naval Academy class of 96 presents a compelling narrative of his life’s journey as a very young Vietnamese refugee to his very challenging military combat tours to building a life with his family in Virginia and currently running in the Republican primary to be a United States Senator.

He is a man of dedicated principle, defending unbounded meritocracy in questing for the best student body is his High School the famous,  Thomas Jefferson  Science and Technology HS.

This what he wrote in April 21, 2022 concerning the threat posed by an erosion of the commitment of excellence to America’s ability to compete globally: “..position and wealth can be taken away but education is forever.”

After the article’s publication ,the United States Supreme Court ended affirmative action in higher education.

I am sure they came to that decision without any reference to Hung’s article but like many insights in his book, he is prescient in his warnings about pernicious political agendas in America tearing apart the very fabric of our society.

His chapter on “A deep dive on diversity” should be required reading for all school boards throughout America.

Having “walked the walk” as a combat veteran, he can “talk the talk” about the erosion of unity of mission focus along with an increasing lack of coherence permeating today’s Armed Forces.

All in all the book is a magnificent wake up call, the famous “fire bell in the night” to be ever vigilant in fighting to protect our foundational constitutional liberties.

Whatever the future holds, we are all blessed that Hung Cao and approximately two million Vietnamese can now all be called “American.”