Dear US Military Veteran,
Thank you for your service! Welcome Home!
War is hell, and you gave so much of yourself and sacrificed so much for our country. In some cases you did it against your will (drafted), or you stepped up to the call of honor and duty, and did so unselfishly. We could not be more prouder of you!
You may have come home and faced some unfavorable backlash, and for that, I am so very sorry. You did NOT deserve to receive any type of negativism. It is just uncalled for, there was nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hang your head low about. You are the epitome of honor, strength and dignity, and hopefully enough time has passed that those who disgraced you, came to see their wrongdoings. One can hope….
However, this letter to you serves a purpose. I pray that it starts a healing process for you, because YOU deserve peace and love.
I want to bring up an unspoken subject, one that has been joked about, one that has sat at the back of your mind for the last 40 or more years. You may have pushed it deep down and even forgotten about it. That is OK! There is no right or wrong way to feel about this subject…. until today. Today after reading this letter, you have a choice, a decision to make. And after you read my letter, I pray to each and every one of you that you make the right choice.
I would like to talk to you about the Children of War, the Children of Dust, or “bui doi”. I understand this is a very sore subject, but let me share with you my own story and why I am assisting these Amerasian children.
My own dad had fathered a son while serving in the Vietnam war. His name is Dung and was born in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam in 1971. He is just 3 years older than me. After the war ended, Dung escaped Vietnam and moved to the US in 1990 through the Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1987. He became a US citizen and built a whole new life and started a family. But something was always missing, half of his family!
His story, it completely broke me to hear. He faced ridicule for being a half-breed. He was made fun of and treated unkindly for his “yellow” hair and American features. Life was completely different for my older brother than the life I grew up in. In the late 70’s/early 80’s while I was playing with Barbie dolls and swimming in crystal clear swimming pools, he was romping through a swamp land, dodging poisonous snakes and sleeping on the ground. It seems so long ago, almost like someone else’s story, but it is our story, it is real, and it matters!!
We are NOT alone, there are thousands of other children born from American soldiers in several wars and conflicts across the world. It happens, and you have the power to make a huge difference in someone’s life, and hopefully your own!
In 2017, my brother sent in a DNA test with 23andMe and Ancestry. In October 2017, he matched with me, and my younger brother who I grew up with, through my AncestryDNA test, (1,462 centimorgans shared across 49 DNA segments). When I discovered this, I was highly skeptical, I thought it was a scam or that Ancestry made a mistake. Surely not MY DAD, he wouldn’t ever do something like father an unknown child. I was the oldest child, how could he have another child older than me? See, I couldn’t ask my dad because he had just passed away the year before. So I HAD to rely on this DNA test to prove this was true. I also later submitted a DNA test to 23 and Me… guess what, we matched there also!
DNA doesn’t lie…. I am telling you this because I didn’t want to believe it either. I was scared, I was shocked, I was saddened.
When I finally got to speak to my brother Dung, it was very uncomfortable. But I had an open mind and what I can tell you is that finding Dung (who I now call Peter as his American name) has been nearly the best thing that has happened in my life short of having my own child! He is very kind, caring and is just another human being out in the world who has every right to know who his family is. Just like so many other Amerasian adults, he just wanted to be accepted and to know us and our father and any other family we had.
Contrary to the assumption that Amerasian people are just seeking money or citizenship or some crazy idea of coming to America, most just want to know who their kin is. They just want to be accepted by their family. These children are now in their 40’s and have children of their own, your grandchildren. If they were lucky enough to make it to America, they became US Citizens, worked and supported their families, just like you did when you returned home.
Now you know my story, I want to speak frankly about your time in the service. We understand you may have had to do some awful things, War is Hell, and just living through it, if you can find brief moments of joy, escape, affection, we do NOT blame you for being a young man in a foreign country, just trying to survive. You are a being having a human experience. Many young men had relationships, (encounters, escapades, whatever you want to call it) with local native women where they were stationed (from Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, Germany, Guam, Philippines and many other locations around the world). Many were in legitimate relationships with these women, most were just brief.
It happened, and it is time to stop sweeping the memory of it under the rug. It doesn’t have to be a shameful secret, it is no longer a taboo topic. If you had an encounter with a woman while serving your country, you have a high probability that you fathered a child, your son or daughter. How amazing is that??!! What a true blessing and gift from God!
This person is a living, breathing, human being with God-given rights, even in their own country. If you survived the war, and they survived after the war, there is a person with YOUR DNA out there in the world. Today, it is time to acknowledge this FACT without any judgement what-so-ever!
Please just take some time to think about the impact you have as a Veteran who proudly served his country, who left their DNA overseas. I only wish my Dad was still alive to learn what a great son he has and that his other children love him just as much as he would have.
I know it is difficult to think about, but remember the shame and guilt of returning home and facing many who ridiculed you? I will say this again, you DID NOT deserve that treatment. Neither do your Amerasian children.
If you want to talk to someone who has been there, you can call me any time. I know there are a lot of emotions that go along with this and I will be here to help you process it every step of the way if you want. 470-673-5900 is my personal cell, firstname.lastname@example.org is my email address.
We are not a large corporation, this not-for-profit organization consists of just a handful of people who have been impacted by the story and the history of Amerasian’s and want to help reconnect families. We do NOT charge a fee for our services, and at this time are strictly operating online to keep expenses very low.
Let me close with this… God himself is giving you this wonderful gift of a son or daughter, and the rest of your family a potentially positive experience and lesson to learn here. Please don’t turn your back on them.
Call me anytime!!