The family of Ngoc Truong, a four-year Navy veteran who recently passed away after a battle with cancer, are dealing with another tragedy. According to them, Truong’s mother was denied a visa to come to the U.S. to attend his funeral.
“He’s already done for this country, but what has this country done for him? What did this country do for him?” Truong’s father said in an interview with WREG.
Truong died Dec. 17 after suddenly being diagnosed with leukemia. Services were held Dec. 26. He was 22 years old.
Written on his headstone is a version of the famous line from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address: “Don’t ask what your country did for you, but ask what you did for your country”.
Though born in Vietnam, Truong was a U.S. citizen. He grew up in Blytheville, Ark., and after high school enlisted in the Navy, serving aboard the USS John McCain.
After four years in the service he left the Navy in October to go to school in Florida for graphic design. It was then he was suddenly struck with the fatal illness.
Truong’s parents are divorced, and his mother lives in Vietnam. According to his father, who runs a jewelry store in Blytheville, her visa application was denied twice. The episode has left him “fuming mad.”
In a statement emailed to WREG, the State Department did not explain why Truong’s mother was denied a visa.
“Visa records are confidential under U.S. law. We are unable to discuss specific visa cases,” wrote a State Department official.