The story starts during the Vietnam conflict. The year is 1969 where by brother inlaw Robert Criswell, 82nd Airborne , specialist 1st class is engaged in a fierce fire fight with NVA regulars. Here is what happened. Info. is taken from the Vietnam Veterans Wall.
"While his squad is pinned down by enemy bunker fire, at no regard for his own safety, he leaves his position of safety exposing himself to an intense enemy fire. He drags a wounded comrade back to his squad for medical aid. While his squad is pinned down he rises attacking the enemy bunker. During this attack, protecting his comrades, he attacks the bunker single handedly and is killed. This action inspired his squad to rise up and attack the bunker, destroying it."
Medals Awarded of Special Note: Bronze star with valor, Purple Heart
Present day summer of 2010.
My daughter went for her usual nail manicure here in the city where i live right now Hayward Ca. Here in California especially in the San Francisco or Los Angeles area it is not uncommon to have a Vietnemese person doing the work. Here is what took place.
As my daughter was having her nails manicured one vietnamese girl said to another. " That girl over there looks like your sister" the other girl replied no she doesn't. Constantly she looked over to my daughter.
My wife later arrived to pick up my daughter and without any words said to the girl across the room my wife said " you look like my mom"
Ya gotta know this is getting interesting.
As my wife and the girl across the room who is named Anna started to exchange words of why do you think i look like your mom etc... Well to start my wife says. "you have the same cheek bone structure, nose almost the same as my own, your eyes and chin look too much of my own family"
It just so happens that Anna is from the province of " Thua Tien" a very small province of approx. 250 residence. The same province of battle where my brother had given his life.
Through conversations and photo's exchanged Anna's children have a very similar resemblance to Robert as a youth.
This suspense could not go on any longer not knowing if she is family or just another close encounter so they arranged a DNA test in late Oct. 2010 between my wife Marie and Anna.
The test results arrived 2 weeks later. The test results arrived at Anna's home where her Cambodian husband "Ming" opened the letter with the test results while Anna was at work. He could not wait any longer not knowing.
The results were conclusive that my wife Marie and Anna have the same blood line. Anna is now 41 she is the daughter of my wifes brother who passed 41 years ago!
This is a miracle. It must be. This lady Anna could have ended up anywhere in this world but here in my home area? She lives in a neighboring city only 15 mins. away from my house for the past 2 years recently. Starting in San Jose California when she 1st arrived to America some 16 years ago married and moved to Chicago and then back to the San Francisco Bay area after her divorce from her husband.
Sadly her mom who had lived in San Jose since coming to the U.S. just passed away April.9th 2011. This is the woman who met a young G.I. from America and gave us a missing family member for the last 41 years.
My wifes Dad who is still with us had expressed many of his dreams as he slept. talking to his son Robert as if he were still alive. My wife tells me of his tears he has shed because of dreams, thoughts of his oldest son and what would he would be like today if he were alive. Well pop, his soul still lives and so is the grand-daughter that you never knew you had.
They met for the 1st time in early December at a Mc Donalds restaurant in San Francisco. She walked into the restaurant with her husband Ming and did not know what her grand-dad looked like. My father in-law recognized her immediately. Tapped her on the shoulder and life was all good again.
Big family reunion still to happen this summer.