Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dan H. Nguyen killed 'when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire'

Army combat medic Dan Nguyen died Tuesday when his unit was attacked by small-arms fire in Tahir.

The oldest of four sons of Vietnamese immigrants, Nguyen got engaged last month at home in Sugar Land while on a visit from Iraq.

He felt so strongly that he needed to serve his country that he extended his enlistment. Nguyen would have turned 25 on May 29.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, headquartered at Fort Hood.

"We were just about to send him 30 pounds of candy," his brother Phi, said. "He loved kids. He loved to play with the kids and give them candy."

The family regularly sent candy, he said. "He would ask for it in e-mails and phone calls home. ... He was always the life of the party."

Vu Nguyen remembered him as "the greatest brother a person could have. He enjoyed all kinds of sports, and he'd listen to your troubles and then make you laugh by being goofy."

His parents, Sony and Huong Nguyen, had emigrated from Vietnam and married in 1980. They had four sons: Dan, Phi, Vu and Van.

Phi now lives in Bellaire; the others live in Sugar Land.

Dan Nguyen graduated from Houston's Madison High School in 2000 and attended the University of Houston before enlisting in the Army in 2004, his brothers said. He was sent to Iraq in October.

While home for Easter he became engaged to his sweetheart, Hau Nguyen, who is in the Air Force, stationed in Japan.

"He wanted to serve his country," Vu Nguyen said.

From the Houston Chronicle