A recent article in The New York Times by James Dao reported on men who are Vietnam veterans and left children behind when they returned to the US.
These veterans lost touch with the children they fathered; some children were the result of long relationships with women there, and others were from one-night stands. These children, known in Vietnam as Amerasians, were stigmatized and often lived in poverty.
Many of these children, now grown, search for their fathers. And while some men want to put the past behind them and not take responsility for these children, some of the fathers are driven by guilt or longing to find their lost sons and daughters.
I wrote an earlier blog post about young mothers who gave up children for adoption years ago and feel like they are missing a lost love (1950s-birthparents-and-lost-loves-some-similarities).
Vietnam veterans who fathered and left children behind after the war often have the same feelings of lost love and a need to fit the family back together.