Asian US military veteran shares dramatic image of his patriotism: 'I served this country for your freedom'

Asian US military veteran shares dramatic image of his patriotism: 'I served this country for your freedom'
Asian-Pacific service members, Wikimedia Commons

Lee Wong, an Asian immigrant and veteran of the U.S. Army, recently gave a speech in Ohio addressing the hate crimes that Asians have been suffering in the United States — and he offered vivid, dramatic evidence of his patriotism by lifting up his shirt and showing the large scar on his chest that he still bears from his years in the military. Wong discussed anti-Asian hatred some more during an April 1 appearance on CNN's "New Day."

Explaining why he decided to show the Ohio audience his scar, Wong told "New Day" host Alisyn Camerota and CNN's John Avlon — who was filling in for John Berman — "I just need to say something, with the verbal threats and the jabs here and there. It was just too much to bear that people came to me and told me that I don't look American enough or patriotic. I'm just as American as an apple pie, and I served this country honorably. And to say that to me, to my face, it hurts."

Wong continued, "I was very nervous to talk about things like that. No one wants to talk about it…. I don't know what came over me. And I was — some anger or frustration inside. I just pulled my shirt up and said, 'Here.' That's when I showed my ugly scar and said, 'I served this country for your freedom, democracy.'"

Camerota asked Wong if he wanted to tell CNN viewers how he got the scar on his chest, and he responded that he was injured during "basic combat training" in South Carolina.

Wong recalled, "I got cut up pretty bad. I'm lucky. There was some glass or rocks down there. It is not a combat wound. It's just a training wound."

Watch the video below:


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