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"Who was that?" his wife asked. "Jim Burns. A guy from my unit in Vietnam," he replied. "Oh!" she said.
Dale sat back and thought about his tour at An Khe. Flying supply and assorted evac missions in the HH-53 was a lifetime ago. He stood up, and then walked out the patio sliding glass door.
The sun was setting on a beautiful Fall evening. Colors danced on the clouds in hues of red, blue, silver, and many shades in between. Dale gazed toward the vibrant horizon. His dog scratched at the glass door. Dale turned around, and then opened the door for the young golden retriever. The dog bound out the door. He ran like a crazy animal in circles around the spacious yard. "You are showing off!" Dale said to the dog that seemed to smile as it ran nowhere fast.
That girl and I were the same age Dale mused as he watched the dog run in big circles. He thought about the many times he visited the laundry on An Khe AB just to see her. Dale recollected that it was in the Spring of 1971. He remembered that they ate meals he got from the officers club. After a few of those dates, Dale moved her to a small apartment just outside the base with her young child (by a serviceman).
Dale never promised her anything special, or that he would even consider taking her to the USA (land of the big PX). He remembered the ribbing he got from some of the other pilots when he told them that he had real feelings for the Vietnamese woman. Dale especially remembered Jim Burns telling him that his relationship would end in problems.
Thirty plus years later, Jim called to tell him that the woman had a child after Dale left An Khe AB to finish his tour at NKP, Thailand. "Wow!" Dale said aloud. The golden retriever looked at him. Dale did not realize that he walked out of the yard and into the neighboring field. The golden haired dog faithfully followed him. Dale dabbed tears as he thought of times spent with the Vietnamese woman whose name escaped him. The memories made him sad and remorseful. "Jim was right. I screwed up!" Dale said to the dog. He was sure that the dog would not repeat anything to anyone. Dale smiled at the ludicrous thought. The dog wagged its tail.
Dale reflected on the ad that Jim Burns read from the veteran magazine. A girl in her early thirties was looking for her father. The girl did not expect anything from the man who knew her mother years ago, because the daughter believed that the man did not know she existed. However, the daughter would like to connect with her father…without commitment. Dale wondered if it was logical to meet this young woman, his daughter, without an obligation. No commitment - just like the original relationship Dale mused. He felt like a heel.
The sky turned a brilliant bright pink as the sun set. Dale watched until it was dark.
This story is fiction. However, a service man from the USA fathered a daughter (born March 10, 1972) to a young Vietnamese woman who worked at the laundry on An Khe AB, Vietnam. The daughter currently lives in the USA. She does not want anything except to meet her father. No strings, no commitment. If you know of anyone at An Khe AB around the time of conception, or if you knew the young woman at the laundry facility, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at: (810) 987-9565. Thanks!
Note: A friend believes that there are many Amerasian children in this situation who currently live in the USA and Vietnam. This is not meant to evoke guilt, rather to stir the heart(s) of those to seek out these children. Personally, I believe, any man would be proud to be this young woman's father.
Gary D. Moore
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Update: April 30, 2015
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