BANGKOK, Thailand — Former U.S. Army medic Barry Huntoon returned from Vietnam with a 15-year-old daughter he had never met, and said today that she was "very, very happy" to leave for a new life in the United States.
Huntoon returned to Bangkok from Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City on Monday with Tran Thi Tuyet Mai, whom he fathered during the Vietnam War but saw for the first time in Life magazine two years ago.
The 38-year-old sales representative from Paradise, Calif., said the girl, poor and illiterate, had been peddling peanuts to Soviet tourists on the beaches of Vung Tau, near Ho Chi Minh City.
"She was very, very happy," on the flight to Bangkok, a euphoric Huntoon said.
He said the girl was taking her first plane ride, and remained glued to her seat, afraid to watch her homeland fade in the distance.