Minister reunited as popular TV show celebrates anniversary

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The Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs was an honored guest and a reunitee on the first anniversary broadcast of Nhu chua he co cuoc chia ly (As if we never parted) television show on Saturday.

On the show, which helps people find long-lost friends and family, Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan met the family of Pham Van De, who was a captain in the US army medical corps at Dinh Tuong Hospital in Tien Giang Province during the Vietnam War.

Before her death, the minister's mother Nguyen Thi Sanh, had expressed a wish to find the family of her lost comrade De, who had secretly supplied medicine and medical equipment to the liberation force during the war.

The Vietnam Television (VTV) show was able to track down the late De with only his name and the name of his two sons.

The television show's investigations found De had set up a medical station to aid emergency cases and worked as the chairman of the Red Cross Society of Binh Minh Commune in Dong Nai Province.

"I would like to thank the program for uniting people," Minister Ngan said. "This country had been hurt and most families have cases when people have lost touch with loved ones."

During Saturday's live show, several other people also met for the first time in years.

Vo Thi Bong from Tay Ninh Province, who had wandered around HCMC for years looking for her family, met her mother. Like many others, she was lost during the war and the only thing she could remember was that her family had lived near a railway.

"I was named by my adoptive mother," she said. "I lost my family more than 30 years ago when I was around six. I don't even know my exact age and original name."

The TV show included a short documentary about Bong's quest to find her mother, but the clip was stopped midway to allow the emotional Bong to reunite with her mother. Bong's two daughters also met their grandmother for the first time


Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (L) meets family members of her mother's comrade Pham Van De on Saturday's Nhu chua he co cuoc chia ly (As if we were never parted) television show

Unlike Bong, Huyen from Binh Phuoc Province could not remember her parents.

"I could only remember being arrested when I was very young," she said. "The village had opposed the evacuation forced by the US army. I was arrested during a raid while hiding in a bush."

Huyen was reunited with her family on Saturday's show.

"She was arrested during a raid in 1969 when she was only three," her mother said.

The 42-year-old Huyen only knew her age and her original name, Bui Thi Mai.

Also on Saturday's show, Nguyen Van Ha from Binh Duong Province met his family from Dong Nai Province, who had recognized him on an earlier show speaking of his wish to find them.

Ha lost his family when he was around four as he was following his brother to catch crickets. The boy was taken to an orphanage before being adopted by Tran Van Ba from Binh Duong Province's Di An District.

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