Vietnam Veteran Charles Bankhead of Bryan, Texas, recently wrote a very special thank you letter about one of his providers at the Katy VA Outpatient Clinic.

Bankhead, who served in the Army for two tours in Vietnam, said he was so touched and impressed by the care he received from Ngoc Duong, a physician assistant at the Katy VA Outpatient Clinic, he felt compelled to reach out to the Houston VA director directly.

“Ms. Duong is the first Vietnamese person I have talked with since I returned from the Vietnam war in 1970,” he said.  “I looked into her eyes and I could tell immediately that she sincerely cared about me. She made a special effort to get to know me and takes extra time to explain things to me when I come in for an appointment. I really can’t thank her enough.”

Charles and Sue Bankhead

Prefers 80 mile drive because “She has my back.”

Bankhead lives more than 80 miles from the Katy Clinic and, although there are other VA health care sites closer to his home, he said he chooses to travel to the Katy Clinic because of the great care he gets there.

“I feel that I can relax when I have an appointment with Ms. Duong, because I know she has my back,” he said. “That’s worth a little extra driving and a whole lot more.”

Duong joined Houston VA after graduating from Baylor College of Medicine in 2005. She transferred from the main Houston medical center to the Katy Outpatient Clinic in 2018 and works as a physician assistant in five different specialties.

“It is truly my pleasure to care for Mr. Bankhead,” she said. “He has shared stories of his military service in Vietnam with me and I feel honored and privileged to know him.”

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

VA celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. There are more than 300,000 living Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander American Veterans.

VA proudly recognizes and shares the rich history and remarkable stories of AAPI Veterans. Thank you to all our AAPI Veterans for your dedication to our armed forces and to this nation. Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

By Maureen Dyman is the Houston VA communications director

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Published on May. 25, 2022

Estimated reading time is 1.9 min.

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2 Comments

  1. Thuy Le June 2, 2022 at 1:13 am

    That is awesome. Great job Ngoc Duong, PA-C for putting your heart into what you do best and giving the best care to the Veterans.

  2. Arthur Fishman June 1, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    Charles bankhead
    I also served in Vietnam in the 4th Div in the Central Highlands in 1967 and 1968.
    The VA in Long beach where I go, is very good. I have been going there to try and get my hearing a little better, and they have tried to give me hearing aids that can be inserted in my ears. I still have problems with hearing. I also went there this past year to get the Covid 19 shots. I am over 70 and not good with needles. They gave me appointments and I was pleasantly surprised as to how they were organized, that when my appointment came, I did not have to wait and the nurse was quick and confident. I will be getting my 2nd booster in July, when I go for a followup on my hearing.
    Charles, I went back to Vietnam in July 2019, 52 years after coming home. The trip was organized by the Vietnam Tourist and I wanted to visit the battlegrounds, especially where I was in Dac To. I also wanted to meet a Vietnamese combatant from that battle. They arranged tohave me meet at the house of the guests father, who had, fought with the N Vietnamese, and was a colonel. Meeting a vet, who expressed gratitude, toward the American Army, and was very pleasant and gracious to talk about his experiences, was what made the trip terrific.
    Many do not know, that the Army medics, who saved lives of american grunts, also saved lives of the enemy soldiers, and our guest, told us that his best friend lived because of the help of American surgeons. It is a beautiful country, and you can bring your wife and family, the hotels and resorts are affordable and welcoming. All of the Vietnamese we met were very nice and young, and believe that the American presence has helped them get to a better standard of living for their children.

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