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Happy New Year!

Meetings in January

Auxiliary – 1/3  @ Legion

SAL 1/18 @ Legion

All Legion Floor and Board meeting will be held on the 2nd Monday of even numbered months. Meetings will be held on the main floor of the Legion. 

American Legion riders will now meet on EVEN numbered months through the winter.

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A message from our Chaplain:

Thu-Ha (pronounced Tu ha) arrived in the U.S. on May 7, 1975, when she was 13 years old. She arrived with her father, mother and six siblings the oldest 15 years old and the youngest 3-year-old Tam. The family’s story of their journey begins in late April 1975 when her mother and siblings were air lifted to the Philippines by the U.S. Air Force. They along with other refugees stayed in a hanger for two days before being transported to Guam and were to move into what was known as the “Tent City.” Her father Si Vo an Air Force Colonel stayed in Vietnam to fight the rapidly advancing North Vietnam Communist forces. As things deteriorated quickly, her father along with other pilots flew F-5’s and other U.S. war planes to Thailand to prevent the aircraft from falling into enemy hands. He along with the other pilots were then taken to Guam, where he met up with his family on May 1st.

Guam was the first time Thu-Ha ever seen her father cry. Not only was he overwhelmed with sadness of seeing his homeland fall into the iron grim of communism, for the first time in his life he felt helpless to care for his family. Other than flying he had no other skills. His higher education began in France in 1958 where he started his military career. Si’s father was a high school teacher and they owned farmland in the country where they grew and sold fruit in the city for additional income. His mother also owned farmland (rice paddies) adding more income. By Vietnamese standards they were regarded as upper middle class.

Thu-Ha’s family was quite lucky because her father had trained at Maxwell Air Base in in Alabama and at the Air War College. A former U.S. adviser knew her father and he sponsored Si and his family to come to America. When they arrived in Florida the family of nine moved into a two-bedroom trailer that the adviser purchased for them. Later, her father just by happen chance seen his former driver from Vietnam walking across a parking lot. His driver spoke no English and had nowhere to stay and so her father brought him home and he moved into the same trailer with the family of nine.

Thu-Ha’s father was the only one who spoke English and he was given a job at a auto repair shop to learn a trade. Si’s driver would go fishing or crabbing every day to bring home food for the family. Thu-Ha’s mother accustomed to more room and finer things in life became despondent to the point where she became physically ill. Five months later Si Vo moved his family to Arizona in an effort to help his wife and family find more stability in their lives. Thu-Ha’s father had learned that other men he had served with, and their families were living in Arizona near another air base. He felt having more old friends around would help to improve his wife’s health. Ten people packed themselves into an old Datsun and drove from Florida to Arizona.

In Arizona, her father was able to secure a part time job with a mobile home manufacture. On weekends the family would mow lawns and pull weeds for extra income. One client took pity on them as they pulled weeds and performed other yard work, the client would take care of the younger children while the rest of the family worked. In addition, to these jobs her parents also obtained an additional job polishing cut diamonds and assembling digital watches. Every night after dinner the whole family would sit at the same table assembling digital watches adding to their financial security.

Finally, Thu-Ha’s father was able to land a job on the 3rd shift at the University of Arizona working as a janitor. During the day he would teach English to newly arriving refugees until the program eventually ended. Then the family moved to Houston, Texas where her father secured a job at Hughes Tools on the 3rd shift plus a day job working as a manager for U-tote-M (7-11 type store). He held his positions until he was laid off when the stock market dropped in the 1980’s. Once again, moving his family back to Arizona. Si was able to obtain a job at Motorola until he was able to save enough money to purchase a 7-11 franchise.

The transition for Thu-Ha’s family has been a long and difficult journey but a successful one. Did they achieve the American dream? Yes, I think they did maybe not at the same standard to what they had left behind in Vietnam but success they have obtained.

Thu-Ha’s 3-year-old baby sister Tam following in her father’s footsteps, she graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with dreams of becoming a pilot but her diminutive stature prevented her from achieving that goal. She became a logistics officer and recently retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Since her military retirement, Tam was accepted into an accelerated RN nursing program which she completed this past December. Thu-Ha graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where she met an ambitious, strikingly handsome young man and future husband.

Next month I will tell you Thu-Ha’s husband’s story. Until next month never forget we must always trust in God’s plan even if it seems cruel and harsh.

Doug Thompson, Chaplain  

dotandjot@aol.com          

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The Legion would like to thank a few individuals and organizations for their support.

Denny Hansen for heading up the cleaning and installing new shelving in the Legion shed. This will help keep it organized and easier for the City to store the Christmas decorations.

Jean Stinocher, Denny Hansen, Dennis “Mouse” Kingery for going through and cleaning up the upstairs store room.

(who know there could be so much up there!)

The Solon Area Community Foundation for a very generous grant to the Legion! This grant will make it possible to purchase and install a commercial dishwasher in our kitchen. This will be a HUGE benefit to your Legion!

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SAL Famous Kettle-Fried Chicken Dinner is back to its original date

on the calendar! February 5th, 2022.

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KITCHEN HOURS:

Breakfast:

Monday-Sunday 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Please watch the Facebook page and website for the most up to date information.