‘The War Is Over’: American Veteran First Meets His Vietnamese Daughter After 50 Years

On July 30, American veteran Harold Setser finally came face-to-face with the daughter he was forced to leave behind in Vietnam in 1971.
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‘For me, the war is over’: American Veteran First Meets His Vietnamese Daughter After 50 Years
Phuong Nguyen hugs Harold Setser for the first time, alongside her sons Anthony and Steven Van Doan. Photo: WJHL

It was a meeting 50 years in the making.

On Thursday, American veteran Harold Setser finally came face-to-face with the daughter he was forced to leave behind in Vietnam in 1971.

The late-night reunion took place at Memphis International Airport. Phuong Nguyen and her two sons, Anthony and Steven Van Doan, flew from Connecticut to Memphis to meet Setser.

To say Setser was excited was an understatement, cited WJHL.

“I’m so happy to find my daughter; it’s been a long time,” said Setser. “For me, the war is finally over.”

‘The War Is Over’: American Veteran First Meets His Vietnamese Daughter After 50 Years
Setser and Nguyen’s mother in Vietnam. Photo: WJHL

Setser was in the Air Force during the Vietnam War when he met Phuong’s mother. He left the Air Force and went directly to a civilian job as a contractor, but he had to leave the country when his visa expired. Phuong Nguyen was just four months old at the time.

”I met her mother in Vietnam. I was a GI. I was in the Air Force. I was separated in country, and I went to work for the American Embassy,” Harold Setser said, reported Fox13memphis.

Setser said he never forgot about his daughter and never stopped looking for her.

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

American Veteran reunites with long lost daughter in Memphis. Video: WJHL

‘The War Is Over’: American Veteran First Meets His Vietnamese Daughter After 50 Years
Setser meets his two grandsons. Photo: WJHL

Setser said he began talking regularly to his new family members through phone calls and video chats, but due to Covid-19, had to put any plans for a reunion on hold.

“It’s super exciting — amazing,” said Anthony Van Doan. “My mom wanted to meet her actual dad and never got the chance.”

‘The War Is Over’: American Veteran First Meets His Vietnamese Daughter After 50 Years
Family reunites. Photo: WJHL

Setser said he plans to show his daughter and grandsons Beale Street, and his daughter has also promised to make him some Vietnamese food while they’re in Memphis. He said they have lots of lost time to make up for.

Setser’s youngest daughter Rachel is also excited to finally meet her big sister.

“Last time I saw her, she was this big,” said Setser, holding out his arms. “She’s all grown up.”

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