Going to school in Hong Kong and later with African American, Italian and Jewish children in New York City, Mr. Wong learned to accept peoples’ differences. He believes it helped him in communicating and working with different people throughout his life.
Mr. Wong was born in a small village in southern China and moved to the city of Guangzhou when he was three. When Communists pushed through China, many people including his own family fled south to Hong Kong, some 75 miles away. In 1960, at the age of 12, they obtained visas to live in the United States from his father, who moved before Mr. Wong was born and operated a Chinese Hand Laundry in Harlem.
Mr. Wong discovered the military upon receipt of a scholarship from the American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans’ organization. His desire to join the organization and give back to the community eased his transition to Army life. After 20 years of military service, he returned to the Chinatown post of the American Legion and requested to join the organization, eventually being elected as the national commander for 2011.
Fang Wong’s remains passionate about using the American Legion to provide for his community. His biggest passion remains being a cheerleader for the organization, and acting as the voice for the millions of veterans they serve.