Vietnam vet meets son conceived during war

August 25, 2010 4:39:08 PM PDT
We have an update to a story we first told you about on Eyewitness News at Ten on Tuesday. A Vietnam veteran finally meets the son he's wondered about for 40 years. There were a few tears but mostly laughter and smiling from this father and son. Two weeks ago, the son tracked down his dad's information, and on Wednesday, four decades after his birth, a father got to hold his son in his arms, for the first time.

Dr. Carlos Buchanan is filled with emotion as he embraces his son, Robert Brown.

This is no ordinary father-son meeting. The two have waited for it for 40 years. That's when Buchanan, then an Army officer, left Vietnam.

"Like I say, good thing comes to those who wait," Brown said.

Their story begins nearly 10,000 miles away in Saigon, where Buchanan met a woman and fell in love.

"She said, 'Carlos, before you leave I want you to know I have you in me,'" Buchanan said.

With no way to extend his tour of duty, Buchanan left his girlfriend and his unborn son behind.

Brown spent the first 15 years of his life in Vietnam and says being the son of a GI was hard.

"You always get picked on because you're different; your hair's different; your eyes are different; and your skin color's different," Brown said.

Now himself a father of three, Brown tracked down his father with the help of an organization called Father Founded.

"When someone brought you into this world, you want to know exactly who that person is," Brown said.

He also has a loving family he never knew existed.

"I'm happy that Robert has the chance now to spend time with my dad and create a new bond with each other," said Omar Buchanan, Carlos' other son.

With a piece of their lives now restored, the two hope other service members and their children will follow their example and experience the kind of joy that neither decades nor distance could destroy.

"Now I can actually move on with my life and live and know that I do have a father, and here he is," Brown said.

"And now at least I know where I got my good looks from," he said. "You're a good looking man, Dad!" Brown told Buchanan.

"Thank you!" Buchanan responded.

Brown is in town until Saturday and plans to spend his time getting to know his dad. The family is celebrating tonight and they will have a party with their extended family on Friday.


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