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have contributed significantly and are truly responsible for me being

promoted here today. For that, I am eternally grateful. The greatest

honor for me when wearing this proud uniform is not the star on

my shoulder or the ribbons on my chest, but having the privilege to

have served with you all, the most dedicated, talented, and patriotic

Americans of our generation. I am asking for your continued support,

guidance and wise counsel as I prepare to take on the next chapter of

my military career.

I am also equally appreciative of the Virginia National Guard. It

provides me the unique honor to protect my country in times of war

and to serve my communities in times of peace while still allowing

me ample opportunity to fulfill my civilian aspirations. Furthermore,

I truly believe and must attribute much of my civilian success today

to this professional organization where Team Work and Character

are non-negotiable. The National Guard is truly the best-kept secret

institution in our country.

Lastly, before I close, I would like to end with a quote by John

F. Kennedy that says, ‘as we express our gratitude, we must never

forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live

by them.’

This quote, I believe, encapsulates the truest meaning of

gratitude I have towards every individual who has made a profound

impact on my life and continues to support me in both my endeavors

and accomplishments. Again, thank you all so much for coming.

God Bless!”

In his civilian capacity, Flora is the Senior Applications Engineer

with Night Vision business of Harris Corporation in Roanoke, and

holds six patent awards related to the AN/PVS-14 and AN/AVS-9

night vision goggles.

Following the Communist capture of Saigon in

1975, Flora and his brothers fled the city to avoid

being drafted in to the North Vietnamese military.

He spent more than three years in the jungle, then

fled by boat to Indonesia where he spent a year

living in three separate refugee camps.

When he arrived in the U.S., he quickly learned

English and finished his high school education in

only three years. After high school Flora attended

the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington where he

earned a bachelor’s degree and commission in the

U. S. Army Reserve in 1987. He later transferred to

the Virginia Army National Guard where he served

in every staff position within 1st Battalion, 116th

Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat

Team, including commander of the battalion.

Flora’s wife Thuy and daughter Christine pinned on Flora’s new rank, and Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, administered the oath of office.