In the heart of Louisville, KY, a remarkable meeting took place at Liquor Barn between two extraordinary individuals, Di Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant and proud American, and Steven Yeng, a refugee from Cambodia. Both men, hailing from humble beginnings, have carved out successful paths in the world of entrepreneurship and spirits, showcasing the power of resilience, belief, and the American dream.
Di Tran, a man of many talents, is not only a nurse, licensed nail technician, and computer engineer but also a serial entrepreneur. With a journey that began in dirt-poor Vietnam, Di and his family sought refuge in the United States, where they worked tirelessly to build a better life. Di’s relentless drive and passion for education led him to establish multiple businesses, including the Louisville Beauty Academy and a chain of nail salons, before venturing into the world of bourbon with his exclusive BELIEF collectible bourbon.
On the other side, Steven Yeng’s story mirrors that of Di Tran’s. As a refugee from war-torn Cambodia, Steven grew up in a world far removed from the comforts many take for granted. His fascination with peanut butter, a novel flavor in his new homeland, inspired him to create a best-selling peanut butter whiskey cocktail at his bar and restaurant. Alongside his wife Brittany, a lawyer and chemist, Steven developed Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, a spirit that celebrates diversity and the unconventional paths that lead to success.
The meeting between Di Tran and Steven Yeng was a moment of mutual admiration and recognition of their shared journey from adversity to prosperity. Di Tran, out of excitement and respect, offered Steven a bottle of his BELIEF bourbon, a symbol of their common belief in the power of hard work and determination. Their encounter was a testament to the fact that, regardless of one’s background, success is attainable through perseverance and a strong belief in one’s dreams.
As they exchanged stories and took pictures, Di Tran and Steven Yeng looked forward to future conversations, each wishing the other continued success. Their meeting serves as an inspiration to all, reminding us that the American dream is alive and well, fueled by the belief in oneself and the unwavering spirit to overcome obstacles.
In a world where stories of success often overshadow the struggles behind them, the tales of Di Tran and Steven Yeng stand as beacons of hope, reminding us that from the most challenging circumstances can emerge the most remarkable achievements. Here’s to the dreamers, the believers, and the trailblazers who show us that anything is possible when you hold onto your belief and strive for greatness.
On the serene grounds of Veterans Memorial Park, Jeffersontown, KY, stands the newly inaugurated Tri Ân Monument — a symbolic, steadfast marker, paying tribute to not only the undaunted veterans of the Vietnam War but also casting a light on the ceaseless vitality of the Vietnamese-American community. The tales of valor from both USA veterans and South Vietnamese allies have forever inscribed a saga of sacrifice and brotherhood, spanning continents and echoing through history.
In the harrowing aftermath of the Vietnam War, the narrative progressed, bringing forth another chapter: the exodus of Vietnamese refugees. Individuals like Di Tran, now a serial small business owner and author in Louisville, Kentucky, began a quest, fleeing the only home they knew, to seek refuge in a promising land across the vast ocean. The tales of Vietnamese refugees like Tran aren’t merely stories of survival but epitomize an indomitable spirit to create, to build, and to weave into the fabric of American society.
Yet, within these stories of past pain and triumphant survival, lies a pivotal narrative – one that evolves from the remnants of bygone struggles into a vibrant tapestry, defining not only where we come from but, significantly, where we stand now, and the direction in which we are headed. The Vietnamese immigrants and their ensuing generations, setting deep roots across the expansive United States, have come to symbolize a profound truth: The value of our shared humanity is engraved not in our past or our origins but in our daily deeds and our shared future.
Take, for instance, the burgeoning Nail Industry in the USA, a sector that has blossomed into a staggering $10 billion+ annual industry. The Vietnamese-American community has played a pivotal role in transforming this industry, demystifying the luxury of nail care from an exclusive privilege of Hollywood celebrities to an accessible indulgence for the common citizen. Through endeavors in such industries, the Vietnamese community has not merely constructed businesses; they’ve established vital connections, fostering a symbiotic growth that enriches both the individual and the society in which they’ve nested.
Moreover, a powerful testament to the allegiance and dedication of Vietnamese-Americans towards their adopted homeland is visibly apparent in the military. Thousands of individuals of Vietnamese origin, spanning 1.5, 2nd, and now 3rd generations, are serving with utmost pride and dedication in the USA military, embodying the virtues of loyalty, bravery, and unyielding commitment to safeguarding the land that has become home.
Monuments like Tri Ân stand not merely as remnants of a tumultuous past but as an eternal flame, illuminating the path of unity, resilience, and collective prosperity. This is not merely a symbol for Vietnamese-Americans but is a beacon for all, conveying a message that our shared histories, while sometimes scarred by wars and displacement, bind us together in a shared future that we are collaboratively creating.
The Vietnamese community, much like all immigrant communities, illustrates a quintessential American tale: one where our origins, fraught with their unique challenges and triumphs, contribute to a greater American narrative. We rise, not as disparate stories, but intertwine as a collective saga, continuing to weave a future that honors our past, celebrates our present, and lights a torch for the generations yet to come.
The Vietnamese in America stand proud, not merely as contributors but as invaluable chapters in the magnificent American story. It’s in every enterprise embarked upon, every military uniform adorned, and every future dream nurtured where we affirm our unwavering commitment: To build, to honor, and to perpetually contribute towards a future where every story is cherished, every sacrifice acknowledged, and every contribution fuels our shared American dream.
With Di Tran, this is Hoàng Đức Nhã was a notable figure in South Vietnam during the era of the Vietnam War, holding a significant position as an advisor to President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu. President Thiệu was the head of state in South Vietnam from 1965 to 1975, and Hoàng Đức Nhã was known to be one of his closest and most influential advisors.
Nhã held numerous roles during Thiệu’s presidency, including being involved in the realm of media relations and psychological warfare. He is often associated with managing and controlling the media and information dissemination in South Vietnam during the Thiệu administration, crafting the government’s narrative and managing its image during a particularly tumultuous and polarizing period in Vietnam’s history.
As an advisor to President Thiệu, Nhã was involved in various aspects of governance and policy-making and was often seen as a controversial figure due to his influence and the various strategies implemented, especially regarding media censorship and control.
It’s noteworthy that the history and the characters from the Vietnam War era are complex and multi-faceted, with diverse narratives stemming from the different perspectives and sides of the conflict. While some see figures like Nhã and Thiệu in a particular light due to their actions and policies during the war, others may have contrasting views based on their experiences, loyalties, and interpretations of the historical events.
The journey of Major General Donn H. Hill through the ranks of the U.S. Army is not just an individual story but is emblematic of the values and principles that have shaped the nation’s defense forces. As Hill has risen through the ranks, his experience and leadership have resonated with many, including Di Tran, an esteemed small business owner and accomplished author of books like “Drop the ME and Focus on the OTHERs.”
For Di Tran, a proud American and Vietnamese immigrant, the honor of being in the presence of Major General Hill was a profound experience. Tran, with his unique perspective, found himself resonating deeply with two significant points from Hill’s speech:
The global perspective on the USA is one of admiration. People from various corners of the world often possess a profound reverence for the United States and are sometimes more willing to champion its cause than some of its own citizens. This is a sentiment that Tran, as an immigrant, understands intimately. Having witnessed the promise of the American dream firsthand, Tran’s journey to the U.S. and his subsequent success are testament to the opportunities the country offers.
Trust, as emphasized by Major General Hill, remains paramount. The U.S. Army stands as a beacon of trust and reliability, often paralleled only by small businesses in terms of institutional trustworthiness. For Tran, this trust is not merely a word but a principle that has guided his business ethics and practices.
Tran’s deep love for the United States and his commitment to serving it to the best of his ability was only further solidified after attending the general’s speech. Sharing the room with active and retired generals was not just a moment of honor but a reminder of the great responsibilities and privileges that come with being an American.
In many ways, the stories of Major General Donn H. Hill and Di Tran converge in their shared love for their nation. Both individuals, in their respective fields, exemplify the ideals of service, trust, and dedication. And as Tran continues to serve both his customers and his country, he carries with him the wisdom and insights imparted by leaders like Major General Hill.