By AFCLC Outreach Team
/ Published June 24, 2020
#LEAPSpotlight Recently, an overseas unit lost an Airman of Vietnamese heritage. Due to the proximity of the Airman’s family, Barksdale AFB Mortuary Affairs was responsible for assisting the family through the ordeal. In need of Vietnamese interpretation services, the Mission Support Group (MSG) identified Capt Duong through MilPDS and requested the utilization of his language support over the phone. However, recognizing the need to provide face-to face support, Capt Duong traveled several hours to personally assist the fallen Airman’s family. Additionally, Mortuary Affairs asked Capt Duong to represent the Air Force by being the Family Assistance Representative. He spent three weeks with the family coordinating with multiple agencies to bring the Airman home and assisting until he was repatriated and laid to rest with dignity and honor.
Capt Duong credits his LEAP experiences and the Defense POW/MIA Accountability Agency (DPAA) as reinforcing, sustaining, and enhancing his language and cultural background, allowing him to be utilized in a time of need. His effort had a profound impact on the family who welcomed him into their home and maintained contact with him. .Thank you to Capt Duong for your compassion, leadership, and dedication to service above self and your fellow Airman.-Story about LEAP Scholar Capt Thien Duong-
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