Vietnam vet to meet son conceived during war


Four decades ago, the Vietnam veteran left that country, but a website and a phone call has given him the chance to make up for lost time all these decades later.

Dr. Carlos Buchanan left Saigon 40 years ago, but the sergeant first class in the U.S. Army always knew he had left something behind.

"The time came and we were soldiers; we rotate and go home," he said.

Like many GI's at the time, Buchanan had become involved with a Vietnamese woman.

"You know soldiers, I was young at the time," Buchanan said. "We got out and met people, etcetera and eventually became fond of each other."

Before he left, he learned she was pregnant but hasn't seen her since.

The now-retired soldier, who spent 20 years in the service, always wondered what happened. He made a life here in Houston, got married and had a family.

Then a few weeks ago, a phone call from an organization called helped him fill in the blanks.

"You live wondering all down through the years, and when this happened I was very, very happy," Buchanan said.

His 40-year-old son, Truong Tran, now lives in the U.S. and goes by Robert Brown. He's also reconnected with his mother, Kim, who also calls the U.S. home.

"I'm glad my son has the opportunity to meet his father, so I'm glad for that," Kim said.

She spoke to Eyewitness News on Tuesday night from North Carolina.

"If they want to search for a loved one, this is the time to do it now. Don't wait until it's too late," Kim said.

And while you cannot replace lost decades overnight, this father says it's better now than never.

"Like I told him, I said, 'Son, I wanna make up for the last 40 years the best that I can. I can't change behind, but I can go forward with you in so many ways,'" Buchanan said.

Buchanan will spend the next few days just with Brown. Eventually, he wants to meet Brown's children and family in Virginia.

As for Buchanan's wife, children and grandchildren here in Houston – well, they say they are also excited to welcome Brown to the family.
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