Baldwin Yen, Asian American veteran profiled in video tribute

You’re probably not like me and didn’t watch the third day of the Democratic National Convention on television this evening, with some terrific speeches by Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, to name a few. Well, this evening, there was also a tribute video made to U.S. veterans.

One of those profile was my friend Sophia Yen’s brother, Baldwin Yen. I have mentioned Sophia several times in 8Asians that she is the most politically active person I know (Asian or otherwise). She’s blogged in the past for Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders for Hillary ’08, and is currently at the Democratic National Convention, with her whole family. I also blogged about her mother, who used to be a senator in Taiwan and ran for re-election this past Spring. Now only if more Asian Americans were even a fraction as active as the Yen family…

I’ve met Baldwin a few times (most notably in 2004 when he had just gotten back from Iraq) and was just in awe. I don’t personally really know that many U.S. veterans, let alone that many active duty or reserve, and no Asian Americans serving in the military except for Baldwin. Talking with Baldwin back then, I recall how much more real the war was to me when hearing his impressions (the same with chatting with a tech executive I knew who was in the reserves flying cargo planes to Iraq on the weekends).

Baldwin was in Iraq for a year in 2004 and served the U.S. Army from 1998 – 2006. I personally was always against the war from the beginning, and remember Sophia’s concern for her brother. I can’t even imagine what’s it like to having a brother or relative serving overseas in a conflict zone, let alone in a pre-emptive war we didn’t need to go into. I remember in 2004 when Baldwin and the tech executive I knew were telling me things were a whole lot worse than what was being reported here in the United States. So it was with great sadness that I felt when Kerry lost to Bush in November 2004. In any case, I am proud to see that Baldwin has served his country proud and has helped put a face to all Asian Americans serving in the military.

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Author: John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)