by Mary Simms
PEARL HARBOR (KHNL) - Sarun Sar grew up in war torn Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge insurgency. He moved to America in 1980 with hopes of a better life. Since then, he's distinguished himself as quite a hero. He's a member of U.S. Army Special Forces, and he has received numerous awards, including a Silver and Bronze Star.
It's the American dream. Immigrate from a poor country with nothing, and work hard to become a success.
"I came here with four dollars in my pocket with no family, said Sar.
Sar joined the Army, and didn't like it at first. Back then, he never imagined what he would become.
"When I first came in the Army I never thought I would come this far, said Sar. "And besides, I didn't like any of them in the beginning. I thought they were all a bunch of uniform Nazi's, the decorated soldier said through a smile.
Fast forward 27 years. On Tuesday, Sar reached the top of the Army's enlisted chain of command. He knows he's proof of the American dream.
"And now I'm a sergeant major serving in Special Forces, and also owning two houses. In Cambodia, you're born poor, you stay poor. Here, if you work hard, you will achieve something."
Sar has been deployed around the world. As a part of the elite U.S Army Special Forces, some of his missions are so important and top secret, he can't discuss them. Not even with his wife.
"I know some missions I did in Africa, we finished and left, and then other people came and got the glory-- which is fine with us."
He fights for his country because he loves it. And, because he feels the need to give back some of what America gave him.
"Absolutely anything you want to do in America, it's possible."