Fort Worth man puts heart, soles into message with walk across America
Thursday, July 23, 2009
By REBECCA SIMON / The Dallas Morning News
Many consider it a huge accomplishment to go 26.2 miles and finish just one marathon. Sinh Tho Nguyen has walked about that distance every day since June 10.
Nguyen, who moved to Fort Worth after growing up in Vietnam, is about 1,000 miles into his walk across America. The 40-year-old said his mission is to remind Americans to have faith in their country and take pride in their nation. And, on Wednesday, he finally made it to Dallas-Fort Worth – home for one week before he hits the road again.
"I owe to America so much, and I don't have any talent at all," Nguyen said. "I have two legs and a heart. So I decided to walk across America to give thanks to her."
The water-meter reader – whose walking-intensive job gave him the idea to walk across America – is not getting paid for his cross-country trek or raising money for a cause. The walk, he said, is just his way of saying thanks to America and its troops.
"This walk is about America and those who suffer," he said.
Nguyen said his father was a U.S. soldier in Vietnam but that they never met. In 1992, Nguyen applied for a visa to come to the United States and was approved in 60 days. He enlisted in the National Guard and Army after moving to the United States.
Nguyen always carries an American flag and has a sign strapped to his back displaying his message: "Shore to Shore: A Walk Across America to Honor Those Who Serve."
Read the whole article at the link, and make sure to see the first comment from Mr. Nguyen himself.
He reminds me of this story about Cathy Frederic's Landstuhl fundraising efforts of 2006 in the Plano, Texas community and amongst her fellow employees at Texas Instruments.
But the most impressive response that Cathy received from anyone about the project was from the members of the Vietnamese Initiative, which she describes as "swift and decisive". They took it on as their own project and in 2 week's time had raised over $600 to contribute.
According to one of their members, "Many of us came to US as refugees between 1975 and 1987. We understand very well the values of freedom and democracy which we risked our lives to seek. We really appreciate US soldiers who leave behind their beloved families and a dream country to fight for freedom and democracy around the world. We value their sacrifice."