it was so hard for me to carry all that burden with that hatred, with that anger and bitterness.'She was finally free from the minders and reporters hounding her at home, but her life was far from normal.Ut, then working at the AP in Los Angeles, traveled to meet her in 1989, but they never had a moment alone.Alone in a hotel room in a small Vietnamese town, Jim Reischl waited restlessly. The young bar hostess who’d told him she was pregnant. I just would like to talk with the wonderful lady I knew in 19.” Last spring, in a trip chronicled by as part of a project about Amerasian children left in Vietnam, Reischl went back to visit the -a-month apartment where the couple had spent lazy days making love, watching a black-and-white TV and listening to Beatles and Blind Faith records.
At the time I said, ‘I’m not going to live here, stay here.’ It was totally foreign to me,” Reischl said.
“I was young and stupid, I guess.” Reischl showed neighbors a photo of the young woman he had snapped from a taxi the last day he saw her.
But he never forgot his “first lady.” Around 2005, after his second marriage ended, Reischl set out to search for the woman he remembered only as “Linh Hoa” — not her actual name. servicemen and Vietnamese women during the Vietnam War, most of whom eventually immigrated to the United States. Since 2012, with the help of Father Founded volunteers, Reischl has traveled to Vietnam five times, speaking to journalists and placing ads in local newspapers. Reischl was sent home the next summer, and although he told Hanh of his departure, apparently she did not understand and thought he had simply disappeared.
He began by scouring the Internet, eventually contacting Father Founded, a group that helps link soldiers and their Amerasian children through DNA testing and other means. He has kept the photos for 45 years “She wanted me to stay with her and live in Vietnam.
Ut and a few other journalists sometimes visited her, but that stopped after northern communist forces seized control of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975, ending the war.
She worked hard and was accepted into medical school to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor.“The moment I saw it, I knew,” the woman, Nguyen Thi Hanh, recalled.“Suddenly the memories of the first love re-emerged.” Also flooding back were thoughts of their daughter. After Reischl shipped out, a devastated Hanh left Saigon to take refuge in the countryside. 18, 1970, she gave to birth to a baby girl with large eyes and pale skin whom she called Nguyen Thanh Nguyen Thuy. She became emotional again when the two sat down for an interview.The little girl heard a roar overhead and twisted her neck to look up.As the South Vietnamese Skyraider plane grew fatter and louder, it swooped down toward her, dropping canisters like tumbling eggs flipping end over end.'I cried when I saw her running,' said Ut, whose older brother was killed on assignment with the AP in the southern Mekong Delta.Hanh joined the South Vietnamese Army and, after the fall of Saigon in April 1975, spent two years in a Communist reeducation camp. Their improbable reunion happened this past weekend in Hanh’s home town. Reischl brought a DNA kit so they could submit a sample from Hanh to a database for Amerasians seeking relatives on a family heritage website.