Friends of Vinh Son Montagnard Orphanage
HOME Orphanage History
Experiences Montagnard Culture Contact
Member  Biography 

Born in Sacramento, CA I came home to the family farm in rural Auburn which remains in the family and begs for attention during my free time. I graduated from Oregon State University in forest management and served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1971-72 where I was a Section Chief of the 505 Counter Mortar Counter Battery Radar unit attached to the 3/82 Field Artillery, 196th Light Infantry Brigade.

Military service changed my life forever, so much so that in February 2007 I made a return trip to Vietnam in search of emotional peace which I have achieved to some degree. It was my good fortune to travel with VSO Officers and Board Members Chaix, Coyne, Keegan, McKee, Gonzales, Mary Waterfield, and Lewandowski and I was privileged to see first hand the work of the Friends of Vinh Son Orphanage. The accomplishments of the Friends of VSO and the childrens' caregivers resonated with me, in part, because I had contributed to the support of an orphanage during my tour of duty decades ago.

Recently retired, I worked nearly 33 years at Sierra College, first as a Professor with the Forestry Department and later as a Counselor in the Student Services Division. Ive never married but found my life work fulfilling because I understand how educators help change the world and make it a better place. I also understand how students return many lessons in kind and in reality help their own professors grow.

If I have found success in life, it may be due to my work ethic and zest for life. My days logging in the national forests of California, Oregon and Alaska to finance my education, my military service, a decade of seasonal employment as a contractual wildland firefighter with the US Forest Service, teaching and counseling, volunteerism in Mexico with fellow Rotarians, and travels to Russia, Argentina, western Europe, Vietnam and around the United States have given me an appreciation for mankind that has helped me grow spiritually and in character.

Special interests include helping combat veterans of the global war on terrorism reintegrate and normalize, volunteerism in my community, skiing, bicycling, community activism and the children housed in both Mexican and Vietnamese orphanages. Humanitarianism is at once an interest and a reward, and I am honored to have to privilege to assist with the work undertaken by the Friends of VSO.


orphanage photo
VSO Newsletters Section Link Sitemap Section Link


Board of Directors
(Click a name to read each person's bio)

President: Patrick Leary

Treasurer: Michael Burke

Senior VP: Pat McKee

1st VP:
Sister Marie Dominique

2nd VP: Mike Little

Dave Chaix

Hank Gonzales

Rich Lahey

Clyde Lewandowski

Bart Ruud

Colleen Sands



© Friends of Vinh Son Montagnard Orphanage and Mission, Vietnam. All rights reserved.
    P.O. Box 9322 Auburn, California 95604-9322 | e-mail
| privacy policy