Father, Son Separated During War Reunite

Gary Bui, an Albuquerque resident, had only two photographs of his father for the last 40 years. In one of the photographs were his father and mother and in the other one were his older brother, his father and his mother. Bui said that the two photographs were the only proof he had that his father was somewhere in the world.

After seeing him for the first time in 40 years, Jerry P. Quinn, Bui’s father, joked over the fact that they don’t need a DNA test and you can just look at them and know they are father and son. Gary Bui was finally reunited with his father and years and years of searching for each other. They both wished one day they would meet but they never thought it would ever happen to them. Quinn said he never forgot his son and his mother and that they both stayed on his heart for the past 40 years, while Bui admitted that he didn’t think they would ever find each other.

Gary’s parents met when the Vietnam War was almost over, sometimes in the early 1970s but Quinn found himself forced to leave Vietnam with the United States forces on March 28, 1973, only half a year before Gary was born. Quinn was one of the very last 2,500 G.I.’s to leave Vietnam. That was the last time Quinn saw Gary’s mother and it was six months before he was born.

When communist troops took over two years later, Quinn lost contact with his family. “It just happened because of a result of water, devastation,” said Quinn. Gary lost his mother in Vietnam when he was 13 years old and he was shortly after taken to the United States, growing up in a foster home in New York. He married his wife in 1999 and in 2004 he moved to where his family lived in Albuquerque, the krqe.com reports.

Quinn’s story was heard by the British Broadcasting Corporation who decided to help Quinn with his search and try to locate his long lost son. BBC offered him a ticket to fly to Vietnam and find his wife and son. He did find some connections with his former wife Brandy but couldn’t find anything about Gary.

One day, Gary saw a post on written by an Amerasian who was searching for his own father, so he submitted a friend request and on that same page he saw that a man named Jerry P. Quinn was also writing about his son, whom he lost long time ago in the Vietnam War. Gary left a comment on the post, in which he wrote ‘keep searching.’

The two men met in Albuquerque for the first time. “We got each other now, though,” said Quinn.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE