In 1980 I came to the US as all other Americans did - as an immigrant to a new land searching for hope and hoping for freedom.
At the age of 4 I was forced to leave my entire family behind in order to flee from a war torn country - Viet Nam. My family made that decision for me.
My story of escape is a long one, too long for this format, but interesting tale. Let's just say it seemed as if I had lived a life time of experience by the time I was 4 years old. For it was during this year that I made my first failed attempt to escape our warn torn country and got caught by the VC's and as a result placed in their prison camp and tortured for information. That ordeal lasted 2 months. The second attempt put me onto another "prison" of sorts - a Thai Refugee camp where I lived within a strict compound for over 8 months. The horrific 2 months of gruesome imprisonment, the lost endless voyage at sea where we were attacked by pirates and almost died from starvation and dehydration, and the brutal chaotic refugee life experiences that I each had, can each be a telling tail all on their own.
However, those stories are only a small part of my life. They by no means define me. Just as none of my other continued struggles in life that I faced as I was growing up alone in a new country define me - not solely anyways.
I made my way through life by working at a very very young age - and continued working throughout my entire life. I graduated HS with honors and finished college with a B.S. in mechanical engineering degree. Then was welcomed to work at NASA.
I've been an engineer for NASA through out my young career so far - designing new instruments for the Hubble Telescope, as well as other satellites both foreign and domestic.
Currently, my battle with chronic lyme disease has me on a temporary break from my chosen career(though it may be longer than I had wanted it to last). And I would be lying if I did not say the illness has changed a lot of my life, my abilities, and what I'm use to be able to do. But that is only for now. I plan to make a recovery soon and take back control of the life that I worked hard for. I don't believe that God gave me this will to fight just to have me give up. I also don't believe he had me go through all these trials, and to learn all these new insights about myself and about life just to not continue living.
So I do plan to make it back into the "real world" one day because I feel I still have much of life to explore. My interests are many. My dislikes are few. I truly believe in two things - "don't knock it till you've tried it." And as for life - "you should either get busy living or get busy dying."
The important things in my life are God. Friends and Family.
I believe that no matter what life situation we are in, no matter what life strips from us, God will always provide for us the necessary tools so that we can dig ourselves out of the devil's grips of depression and self pity. But - we have to be willing to look for those tools and make an effort to heal. Hope and Self Will are our tools, and where there's hope in God there's always POWER.