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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1584

Burmese-American Heroes in Iraq

By Myint Thein - Senior Advisor to the Burmese Resistance

One of the most memorable images of the War in Iraq was the picture of Burmese-American U.S. Marine Corporal Eddie Chin pulling down the statute of Dictator Saddam Hussein which was broadcast live to the whole world on CNN-TV.

Less known is the many Burmese-Americans who served with honor and distinction in Iraq. Freedom is not free and the price of freedom is very high for some families.

Many Burmese were saddened this week to read the news of the death of a Burmese-American soldier in Iraq.

The New York Daily News in an article titled "Queens GI's die in Road Blast - 2 were immigrants in Guard" state :

"Two Queens men who immigrated to the U.S. as kids and went to Iraq as soldiers with the famed Fighting 69th Infantry Regiment have died in a bomb blast in Baghdad, military officials said yesterday.

Specialist Wai Lwin, 27, of the Army National Guard unit perished Wednesday when a powerful homemade explosive ripped apart their armored Humvee on a city highway, officials said.

"These two courageous soldiers were both immigrants who came to New York to embrace freedom and opportunity here in America", Governor Pataki said in a statement yesterday.

He said the men "not only embraced freedom, they were willing to put their lives on the line to defend it. Their bravery and selfless service to our state and our nation are in keeping with the finest traditions of the National Guard, and they will always be remembered".

Lwin, whose father owns a trading company and whose mother is employed by UNICEF, came to the U.S. from Rangoon in Burma, with his parents in 1991. He graduated from Cardozo High School in Bayside and recently became a U.S. Citizen.

The young soldier's death was a double dose of misery for the Lwins and Wai's younger brother and older sister.

Their mom, May, returned Wednesday afternoon from a trip to Burma for her father's funeral. That night, military officials notified her Wai was dead".

Specialist Wai Lwin was the grandson of Dr. Maung Maung Kha who was the Rector of Rangoon University in the 1960s. Our heart-felt condolences to the family of Dr. Maung Maung Kha.

- Asian Tribune -

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