Sgt Nguyen was born in VietNam on June 27, 1979 and came to the United States with his parents when he was 3. He has two brothers and a sister with whom he was close. He grew up in Portland, Oregon, graduated from Madison High School in 1996. He enlisted in the Army in 1998. He joined the Oregon Army National Guard in 2001, where he served as a supply specialist and property book handler, taking care of supply and equipment needs of soldiers and units within the 41st BCT.
Prior to his deployment to Afghanistan, Sgt Nguyen was attending Portland State University. He was planning on joining the Guard Officers Leadership Development program to become a commissioned officer.
Fellow soldiers said Nguyen was outgoing, well known and well liked. He was known as a hard worker and good at his job. Prior to deployment, the unit recognized him as the 2005 Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.
That is the official release. To appreciate the life of Sgt Long Nguyen, one needs to go no further than the tributes of his fellow soldiers.
From the blog, McNeilly's Perspective - http://mcneillysperspective.blogspot.com - February 14 entry:
I had the pleasure and honor to serve with Sergeant Long Nguyen from Oregon, while deployed to Louisiana in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and while in training at Camp Shelby. I found out yesterday that he recently died. The way the information super highway works, I may never know exactly what happened, and in fact that isn't truly pertinent to me now that he is gone.
Sergeant Long Nguyen served in HHC 141 Brigade Support Battalion while I knew him. He was a truly professional Non Commissioned Officer, who was a pleasure to work with. He did not complain about tasks given to him, he performed them to the best of his ability, and he was a pleasure to be around. We spent about 20 days together helping the recovery efforts in Louisiana, and we spent months together later on in the year in Mississippi, challenging each other to get better at our push ups and sit ups. It was something we would do together when we ran into each other, about once a day.
He was a popular person in spite of the fact that he was fairly quiet. People enjoyed his company, and respected his abilities. I know that the people he worked directly with in our Task Force will truly miss him, I wish I was going to be able to be present at the ceremony for him. He was working at a different location than I am, and so I first found out about his death the way most of the people in Oregon found out, on KATU news. I found it very shocking to have to accept it. Life is precious, it is important to live it the way you believe is right; to have as few regrets as you can have. I hope that is the case for Sergeant Nguyen.
Printed in Soldier's Angels Germany - http://soldiersangelsgermany.blogspot.com on February 15, is a letter from Brian Russell, an Aaerospace Soldier in Afghanistan:
Why? Why is it that some lose hope and take drastic actions to end their lives? I can never understand how we can get so down in despair to lose hope. It is difficult to comprehend. I know that depression has a chemical component and can be treated with chemicals, however, it is often the emotional scars that can be the hardest and slowest to heal.
The tragic loss of our brother Soldier was self-inflicted. I talked with a Soldier who was planning the memorial to be held for him and he said that the circumstances are just so confusing. He knows the young man and said he exhibited none of the "signs" we are told to look for... he just gave up.
I watched "Flag of Our Fathers" tonight and it caused us to think... how will history look upon our actions here in Afghanistan? Will they call us heroes or wasted souls cast into the fray by a heartless or soulless government? We do feel forgotten... this is our Korea.
I know that many remember us, I get letters and packages from so many caring people.
And, finally from, SGT DUB - http://sgtdub.blogspot.com on February 15, the story of his memorial service:
SGT Long Nguyen died last weekend while serving with the Oregon National Guard in Mazir-e-Sharif. From the ceremony tonight, I could tell he had touched many lives and although there was sadness at his death, there was laughter at his life. Although I have no plans of having anything happen to me, my wish is that people can laugh at my funeral too. I can think of no better tribute to a person than knowing the joy and laughter they brought into so many lives. Sgt. Nguyen joined the United States Army in 1998 and served with the 82nd Airborne Division. He was born in Vietnam and prior to his death had applied for both U.S. Citizenship and Warrant Officer School. Sgt. Nguyen is survived by his mother, brother and sister. Our prayers go out to his family.
The Patriot Guard Riders will be meeting the plane, Tuesday, January 20, to escort him to the Ross Hollywood Funeral Chapel in Portland.
The funeral will be held, Saturday, February 24, at Lady of Lavang Catholic Church, 5404 NE Alameda Drive at 9:00 am. ThePatriot Guard Riders will be at the church with a flag line and an escort to Willamette National Cemetery.
It is difficult to understand the loss of Sgt Long Nguyen. We all grieve with his family and friends at this most difficult time. We thank you for your service and sacrifice. We bid you Farewell. Walk with God. Sgt Nguyen.
Sgt Nguyen's Legacy Pages: