BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. — He proudly served his country, but when it came time to bury him, a Navy veteran's father said the government wouldn't grant his son's mother a visa to attend his funeral.
Ngoc Truong, a four-year Navy veteran, died of leukemia on Dec. 17 at the age of 22.
Truong's father, who owns a jewelry store in Blytheville, said Truong's Vietnam-born mother applied for a visa twice but was denied both times.
She ended up missing the funeral.
"That's what made me fuming mad. Fuming. Why?" Truong told WREG.
After leaving the Navy in October, Truong's son had planned to study graphic design at a school in Florida.
Instead, he died suddenly after doctors diagnosed him.
He took words from one of his favorite presidents with him to his grave.
"Don't ask what your country did for you, but ask what you did for your country," Truong said.
But Truong now turns those same words on their head to explain his frustration with the way in which his ex-wife's visa requests were handled.
"He's already done for this country, but what has this country done for him? What did this country do for him?" Truong asked.
Truong said he doesn't know why the visa requests were denied, and the State Department isn't shedding any light on it.
"Visa records are confidential under U.S. law. We are unable to discuss specific visa cases," a State Department official emailed WREG.