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THE 3-MINUTE INTERVIEW: Vu Nguyen

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People,Abby Hamblin

Nguyen is a Navy veteran who is now on a fellowship at the National Veterans Center. On Saturday, he led a group of veterans in a day of service at D.C.'s Kenilworth Elementary School, coordinated by the Mission Continues, a national nonprofit organization that helps post-9/11 veterans transition from military service to civilian life.

What has your experience been like working at the National Veterans Center?

It's been amazing. I've been able to come across a lot of veterans who need help ... and I've been able to help them. I really believe that the work we're doing here is allowing me to make a difference within the veteran community. They are very enjoyable.

What is the importance of the Mission Continues?

I think the value that it brings is that after service veterans can rebuild a sense of purpose. There's some camaraderie that they found in the military that can help them transition back into the civilian world. I think that's one of the most important parts.

How do events help contribute to that cause?

I think for veterans who are serving through the Mission Continues, they are able not only to improve their communities, but they are also able to help change perceptions by acting as living examples to the values that veterans bring to the community.

In what ways would you suggest civilians respond to veterans?

I think it's 7 percent of the population is veterans. They are men and women, sons and daughter, family members, brother and sisters who sacrifice their times and themselves to help protect the country and allow everyone in the country to enjoy freedom and allow them to do the things they do.

What does Veterans Day mean to you?

To me it means that we're recognized for the sacrifice that we've given and that we'll never be forgotten. Year after year, people will always be able to see the value that veterans bring and the sacrifices that we've made -- and it means a lot.

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