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Bruce Carlin

How one determined Vietnamese orphan
carved out a place for himself in America

Undeterred is dedicated to people who arrived from somewhere else.

It is dedicated to those who braved a journey from another country to better their lives, looking for a more prosperous tomorrow for themselves and their families.

Immigrants make this country great. The diversity of backgrounds, values, and talents blend together to make the United States a robust society. We’re not of one place of origin. We’re not of one belief. We’re not of one religion. We’re not of one set of genes.

We are a melting pot of beautiful differences and yet, we are the same.

Long is one of those immigrants, and this book is dedicated to him and all like him who have built this country into what it is today.

I never planned to write a book. 

Until I met Long and started hearing his story. 

He worked for me for ten years as my Chief Financial Officer.  He did a great job, but it was purely a business relationship.  Cursory inquiries about how he and his family are doing and the like, the occasional lunch, and business meetings.  After I sold my company and we were retained to manage what was now a subsidiary, we got to know each other better.

He came to the United States at about age five, an orphan, just he and his brother, who was slightly older.  I heard about how he got here, how he grew up, what he went through as a parent-less immigrant in a new country with a new language.

Out of the blue one day, I said “I want to write a book about you!”  It just popped out – I was so fascinated by his life that I knew it would be interesting to others.

In his own shy way, he agreed. 

I am proud to have written Undeterred.  It’s a great story.  I hope you enjoy it.

UNDETERRED is a moving ride through the life of one determined boy who, despite the bigotry and hate he faces, carves out a place for himself in America.


It’s a twenty-foot drop-off Flower Bridge…

With tanks approaching and bombs exploding mere yards away, five-year-old Long has only moments to decide whether to risk the jump to join his brother in the water below. The boys must leave everything they know in order to survive and unknowingly have embarked on an intense journey, one that will lead to a new life in America.

But even having come so far, the boys will face new perils in the United States and find that the only thing they can depend on is each other. Encountering the indifference and neglect inside a string of foster homes, Long determines that the only way to regain his independence is to earn his own money.

On a quest to have $5,000 by the time he turns 16, Long begins collecting bottles and cans by dumpster-diving and takes a job doing janitorial work. But that is only the first of many financial and personal goals Long will set for himself and far exceed.

Join Long from his early life as an orphan, narrowly escaping the horrors of the Vietnam war with his older brother, to his current life as a family man with an investment portfolio methodically accumulated, now worth over $50 million.

Praise for the book

San Francisco Book Review–5 stars

Undeterred is a story I promise you won’t forget. Author Bruce Carlin relays the remarkable tale of a man named Long, a Vietnamese orphan, who overcame incredible odds to be where he is today. Long’s story is the epitome of the American Dream; coming from quite literally nothing to a fifty-million-dollar fortune, Long’s story is extraordinary. A novel you don’t want to miss out on, I would recommend this book to all readers, especially those who enjoy success stories.

Long’s story begins with him and his older brother, Duc. Orphans during the Liberation of Saigon, Duc and Long took care of each other and relied on the elderly in their village for food and support. Unfortunately, as the soldiers and tanks moved closer to their village, Long and Duc, two very young boys, find themselves running further and further from their town in fear. They find a group of children and before long, find themselves with American soldiers on the way to Malaysia, the first stop to make it to the United States. The soldiers are kind and Long and Duc are eventually placed in Camp Pendleton. Here, the boys learn English and are assigned mentors to help them learn American customs. From Camp Pendleton, the boys are moved to various foster care homes for the entirety of their childhood. This was by no means easy on them; often seen as either free labor, or an extra paycheck, they both had to put up with mistreatment, unfavorable jobs, and always had to be polite regardless of unfair situations. From these experiences, Long decides he must learn to be financially independent. Having to depend on foster families is not something he wants to continue. At age fifteen, Long is able to land himself a janitorial job, working nights cleaning office buildings to start accumulating his fortune. He soon realizes that the true gift isn’t his janitorial job; it’s reading the financial magazines he finds in the office wastebaskets which teach him how to invest. The road is only uphill from here. By putting in an incredible amount of hard work and dedication, Long is able to work his way up from janitor to cannon crewman to financial analyst and more. He saves every penny he makes and invests it all, knowing that his frugality will pay off. From finding love to reuniting with lost loved ones, and making millions, Long’s story is not only inspiring but has something of interest for all. 

About the Author

Bruce Carlin

Bruce Carlin is an accomplished executive in the healthcare and retail industries. He started his own company in 1998, focused on delivering healthcare as a consumer service rather than the cold and disjointed product it has been historically. Long worked alongside him, an unassuming but diligent professional who applied wise financial analysis to Carlin’s company. After ten years together, Carlin began piecing together snippets of his colleague’s fascinating life story as an orphan immigrant who overcame extraordinary obstacles. Then, with Long’s approval, Carlin decided to write this American success story and share it with others. The book’s lesson to all is if you want something, you must remain Undeterred.