|George Pettitt's case
Among the Vietnam veterans looking for their Amerasian child cases we receive, only very few of them will end up in locating their lost relatives. Mostly because the veteran gives up, even before the search starts, the information is too bad or the means and will power to conduct a search in Vietnam, is to weak.
George Pettitt is among the very few veterans that is ready to go all the way in search for his Amerasian son, that he was forced to leave behind, after he left Vietnam due to the end of his time of duty.
He could have done as many of the Vietnam veterans did, forget the past, live in present and move on with life. But he didn't !!! He contacted Father Founded. His case is on our homepage, advertisement had been made in the biggest daily newspaper in Vietnam and future news media will be used too.
In 2012 Father Founded spend time in and around the area of Long Binh, where George used to serve during the war. We used the information added by George on the Google map and based on that, we searched the village of Tam Hiep, but no signs of anyone that remembers George and his lost child.
After that search, we started to use local people to do searches too. Even little pieces of information from George were pinpointed on an interactive map, then forwarded to Vietnam for the local people to follow up on the leads. Every spot had been recorded by photo evidence.
Its not easy after 40+ years, to locate a lost child. The war and what happened after the fall of Saigon, changed the entire South Vietnam. Those worked with or for Americans, were killed or put into jails or detentions camps and not seen again. Others moved away, hid themselves, so no one knows about their past. And finally many escape to the USA, Europe or Australia.
Most of the results in finding the smoking gun, are from the older people living in the area where the girlfriend/spouse used to live. They can be old friends, family or neighbors, some that remember the lost person from that time. As we say " The old ladies are an goldmine of information".
Our search for George's son will continue as long we have the means, power and ability to do it. George wished to be present in Vietnam, but health doesn't allowed it. He had been very supportive during the whole process. He know its not easy and knows that there are no guarantees for a positive results. But he keeps on the search and support it in all the ways he can.
We wish more veterans would act like George, not giving up looking for his lost child. It takes an minute to make an child, but a life to raise it. Father Founded is happy to assist George and hopes he will find his son in the near future.
Below is the information about George, his lady and child, and about the searches we did in Vietnam. After that the search map and photos from the search.
Name: George Pettitt
Day of birth: 04/1950
Branch of duty: Army
Unit: 12th Combat Aviation Group
Occupation: Truck driver
Time of duty: 1969-70
Place of duty: Long Binh Plantation
Name: Nguyen Thi Thuy
Note: She used to work as a Hooch maid
Search story: Based on George's info, we headed on to the H1A Highway going from Ho Chi Minh City towards Bien Hoa. We knew that George's Camp was based on the right side on the road, and that he used to drove about 10 min, by truck toward the Tam Hiep Village and drop off his girlfriend.
She used to live in the only brick made house in the village. Tam Hiep was basically an Catholic village, with migrants from the north. We found the the old site, today a Vietnamese army base and not a good place to shoot photos.
We drove the same directions we were told by George and headed inside Tam Hiep village, today a huge city and a crossroad from south to north.
It didn't take long to find out, that finding someone with a common name, is like finding a needle in a haystack.
The older people, were really friendly, and we found out, that many women had Amerasian children, but they also had left the area decades ago, and the few remaining Amerasians, don't have much info about their families. Many families have moved to other countries like the U.S
After spreading out the info and photo of George to the local people, we went back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Since the small search operation, we sent some local based friends out to search again, both in the same area and in areas around the old Long Binh Camp area, all in vain.
Future will show, what the searches will bring in terms of finding George's family, but nothing comes easy, it's hard work, full of pain and suffering