Monday, May 28, 2007

Dan Nguyen laid to rest

An overcast morning provided friends and family of Danny Nguyen their final chance to say goodbye.

Mourners of the fallen army soldier gathered at the Christ Incarnate Word Catholic Church in southwest Houston Saturday to remember a hero.

“Danny was like a big brother to me. He was my neighbor,” Phuong Nguyen said.

Danny Nguyen, 24, was killed in Iraq on May 8.

But friends and family weren’t the only ones touched by his sacrifice – even strangers attended his funeral.

Among them was Toan Nguyen.

Toan said that even though he didn’t know Danny, he’s like family.

The young Army specialist was a Vietnamese American whose family escaped Vietnam 30 years ago.

In a sad twist of irony, many of those who came to pay their respects know how deeply war hurts, and how it’s perhaps come full circle.

“It’s quite possible that his grandfather and I met on the battlefield,” a member of the Patriot Guard said.

Many of the Patriot Guard riders who joined the procession are also Vietnam War veterans.

For them, and many others in attendance, Nguyen’s funeral opened old wounds.

Nguyen was home just a few weeks ago before he returned to Iraq.

The young Army medic died trying to rescue his fellow soldiers during a gun battle in Tarhir.

So as mourners gathered to remember a young hero, dark skies gave way to rain.

It’s said in Vietnamese lore that rain is God’s blessing.

But the feelings of the day were perhaps best expressed in the words of a fellow soldier:

“Danny, go in peace. Be with God.”

From KHOU 11

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