Good news! Thanks to Facebook and a network of concerned people, Vietnam veteran Jerry P. Quinn was recently reunited with his long lost son. A few months ago, armed with a few pictures, an old address and very little else, Jerry decided to search for his old girlfriend named Brandy, who bore his child during the Vietnam War in 1973. Jerry contacted the Danish Brian Hjort of Father Founded, a group that helps unite GIs and their Amerasian children. Jerry wrote, “I will always love ‘Brandy’…It was a terrible fate that broke us apart and I went on with life but she and my son have always been in my heart.”
Jerry had been stationed at Tan Son Nhut Air Force Base in Saigon. He had developed a relationship with Brandy (Bui Thi Gioi) and he paid a bar owner to release her from her obligation to the bar and rented an apartment near the base. The war was nearly over and men were being sent home in droves. Brandy and Jerry were separated. When the North Vietnamese took over the country in 1975, communication was cut off.
Fast forward 40 years. Jerry is doing missionary work in Taiwan. He arranges a trip to Saigon to meet Brian Hjort and his Vietnamese counterpart Hung Phan Ngoc. In no more than a day they locate Brandy’s mid-wife, who remembers when and where she helped give birth to Jerry’s son. Jerry explains, “Today began with a most emotional exchange with Kim Chu who was the daughter of the mid-wife …I asked Kim if I could hold her hands and then thanked her because holding her hands was as close as I have been to my son.”
With more information but no contact with the son, Jerry returned to his home in Taiwan. He begins thinking about the plight of the many Amerasians seeking their fathers. “Amerasians felt a sense of loss, abandonment and loneliness,” he writes. “Having left their mother’s country, they once again became strangers, alienated now in their father’s land.” He is suddenly struck with the words of a passage from the Bible: “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.” (Malachi 4:6), and he envisioned finding his son.
Jerry had posted a picture of Brandy and himself on Facebook. Several, including me, shared his post. On January 16th, he received a notice from an Albuquerque man named Gary Bui. He posted the back of a picture that was obviously of the same two people. On it was Jerry’s U.S. address in Brandy’s handwriting. Jerry had found his son!
Go here to watch a TV interview about the reunion of Gary and his dad Jerry: Father and Son Reunite after 40 Years.
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