”For 51 years I never had my real father,” daughter meets Vietnam vet father for first time

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After 51 years, a Vietnam veteran from Memphis is meeting his daughter for the first time.

The reunion happened after his DNA matched the DNA of his newfound grandsons’.

”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.

Setser and his daughter Nguyen Phuong have come a long way to reconnect.

Nguyen moved to America in 1991 and settled in Connecticut.

She says she always dreamed of one day finding her biological father.

”For 51 years I never had my real father. Now I am very happy,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen also got to see a picture of her biological mother for the first time.

After Setser was forced to leave Vietnam, Nguyen was adopted by a Vietnamese family.

”I went to Cambodia to get another visa to go back to Vietnam, but all of the contracts were ending, so I had to come home and leave her there,” Setser said.

The process of reconnecting started when Nguyen’s sons Anthony and Steven Doan wanted to learn more about their mother’s side of the family.

”It was actually after I graduated UConn in 2020 and the pandemic started. I was like let’s take an ancestry, test because I was always curious of what I was,” Steven said.

Steven said when the test found a match he began to communicate with Setser, who he later learned to be his grandfather.

”For our family to know we have family in America that’s the biggest shock. Most of the time we were going to Vietnam to visit our dad’s side of the family. It’s just great knowing we have family in America,” Setser said.

Setser says before getting a DNA match online he went through every other method to find his daughter.

”Because if she was my daughter, if they ever found her, she would have her citizenship but I didn’t know her name had changed. So they could never find her and then when the internet came around I used family finder,” Setser said.

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

Setser said on his daughter’s and grandsons’ first trip to Memphis, he’s taking them to Beale Street to catch up and have a good time.