Worlds Apart


Since that first letter, we have been writing to Yen regularly, and he writes back. (The letters, in both directions, are translated by a Vietnamese friend of ours.) We sent Yen money to buy a bicycle for his children and to make repairs to his house. And we have exchanged many photographs. In the first batch from Yen, there was one of him wearing shorts. There on his left shin was the scar we remember so well. I have the feeling that Yen wanted us to know that this was really him, and that scar identified him in a way nothing else could.

The war is long over, and a united Vietnam now welcomes American businesses and tourists. My family is planning a trip next year so that our adult American sons can be reunited with their Vietnamese foster brother.