We wish to extend our warmest welcome Mr. MICHAEL CHAO, our newest Member/Benefactor of The Monarchical Chapter of The Royal Order of Saint Constantine the Great and Saint Helen.
Michael, born in Taiwan, is hearing impaired (deaf), and a well-known Military Aerial Photographer of Alhambra, California, United States. Michael started to learn photography about 15 years ago. Although his learning speed is slower than others due to his deafness, he loves aerial photography even though he can't hear the aircraft engines. It is a majestic rumble, and when the plane soars in the sky, his heart will follow the plane to fly in the sky. He encourages all disabled friends to stand up bravely, pursue their dreams, and strive to do what is impossible.
During childhood at the age of 3, he had a high fever, improper medication, and a special-effect anti-fever injection, which caused the acquired hearing loss. He finished elementary school in Taiwan and entered a junior high school for the hearing impaired. Because of his slow learning progress and bad temper due to deafness and struggling to deal with his disability, resulting in poor academic performance. During that time, Michael encountered a bottleneck in his studies in Taiwan and suffered a lot from hearing impairment.
Later, his whole family of four immigrated to the United States, where Michael entered hearing impaired class to study the English language, mathematics, and took other courses, including American Sign Language. He had to learn everything from scratch, which was very tiring and miserable. After graduation, he entered American society to work. Fifteen years ago, he picked up the courage to study photography in his spare time at work. Because he couldn't hear the instructor's lecture, his father would accompany him all the way to the photography class and help him take notes.
Michael said that he likes to use the lens to capture the spectacular flights of military aircraft. The uniform and heroic posture of military aircrafts make him very happy. He sees himself flying higher and higher, just like an airplane rushing into the blue sky. In order to be able to photograph military aircraft, he often participates in aviation exhibitions all over the United States. Even without the sophisticated professional equipment of aviation photographers, he still strives to capture the unpredictable moments of military aircraft with his lens.
He said that his favorites to photograph are the US Air Force "Thunderbirds" aerobatic team and the US Navy's "Blue Angels" aerobatic team. His dream is to photograph military aircraft from different countries that all have different heroic appearances. He said that no matter how others judge or look down on him and others with disabilities, he will work hard to move forward. He encourages Taiwan's hearing impaired and disabled friends to stand up bravely and work towards their goals instead of doing nothing. Recently, he also began to learn how to dive. In the future, he plans to add underwater photography to his expertise. Whether it is photography of airplanes in the blue sky, and beautiful under-water photography he thanks God for his grace, which enriched his life and gave him a happy heart. We are very proud that Michael decided to join the exclusive membership of the Monarchical Chapter. We had the opportunity to meet Michael during one of the Investiture Events and he looked as sharp in his Tuxedo as in his flight uniform.
Lady Maria DiGiovanni, Dame Commander and Michael Chao.
Becoming a "Member Benefactor of the Monarchical Chapter" is a requisite step in attaining knight-, damehood and voting membership in The Royal Order of Saint Constantine the Great and Saint Helen, one of the three Orders of Chivalry of the Sovereign & Royal House of Cappadocia and San Bartolomeo.
Again, on behalf of H.R.H. Prince Rafael, H.G. Duke Michael, Deputy Grandmaster, and all General Grand Officers, we wish Michael a very warm welcome.
H.G. Gerhart, Duke of Styria of Cappadocia
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