Vietnam Veteran Meets Daughter He Was Forced to Leave Behind After 50 Years

by Amy Myers

Get out your tissues–this one’s a tear-jerker. Just yesterday, Vietnam veteran, Harold Seltser, met his daughter, Phong Nguyen, for the first time since she was an infant.

Fifty years ago, Seltser met Nguyen’s mother while in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Once his contract with the U.S. military was up, Seltser left the Air Force to become a civilian contractor in Vietnam instead. However, his work Visa quickly expired, and Seltser had to return to the States. His daughter was just four months old when he left.

According to Wood TV, Seltser never stopped looking for his daughter. The Vietnam veteran searched records high and low to search for Nguyen under her mother’s last name, but he never found her. That is until his grandson took a DNA test.

Roughly 15 years ago, Seltser took a DNA test of his own through AncestryDNA. Unfortunately, at the time, no matches resulted from his sample. Thankfully, though, his grandson, Steven, wanted to find out more about his mother’s family. As luck would have it, he matched with the Vietnam veteran.

“I was just curious, a curious man. You know, what am I? And then I found my grandpa,” Seltser’s grandson said. “It’s super exciting. Amazing,” said Anthony Van Doan. “My mom wanted to meet her actual dad and never got the chance.”

Steven is just one of Nguyen’s two sons. Steven has a brother named Anthony.

The Vietnam vet would also find out exactly why he wasn’t able to find Phong after years of searching. As it turned out, Phong was adopted by a different family.

“I looked for her through various places even before the internet, but I was looking for the wrong name. She was adopted. So, I was looking for the wrong name,” said the thrilled father. “If it hadn’t been for the DNA test, I never would have found her.”

Vietnam Veteran Finally Meets His Lost Family in Person

Before the family actually met face-to-face, they kept in contact over the phone and the internet. After COVID-19 regulations became a little less strict, they finally decided to meet in person.

Thankfully, it wasn’t a long flight for Nguyen and her two sons to see her Vietnam veteran dad. Nguyen’s adopted family were from the States, and she and her sons lived in Connecticut. So, the family hopped on a late flight to Tennessee and searched for their father and grandfather in the Memphis International Airport.

Now, finally reunited, Seltser said the family has lots of catching up to do. While his daughter and grandsons are in town, Seltser plans to take them to Beale Street. Nyugen promised her father an authentic, Vietnamese dinner with his family.

“I’m so happy to find my daughter. It’s been a long time,” the Vietnam veteran shared. “For me, the war is finally over.”