Vietnamese refugee reunites with 'Crazy American cowboy' who helped him after Vietnam War

·Supervising Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

It was a beautiful reunion on Ann Curry’s We’ll Meet Again when Nam Nguyen met up with Vietnam veteran Gary Ferguson for the first time in almost 40 years. When Nguyen was just 12, he left Vietnam and his family in an attempt to make it to America. But the journey came to a halt when the refugee boat washed up on a remote Indonesian island. That’s when Ferguson entered Nguyen’s life.

Ferguson came to the South Pacific on his own after the war to help refugees. He landed on the island and stayed there for three weeks before commandeering a fishing boat to take the refugees to Singapore. Unfortunately, they ran into a gunship off the coast of the South Pacific country, and that’s when Ferguson exited Nguyen’s life.

Ferguson was arrested and spent two weeks in a Singapore jail, and the refugees were forced to return to the island. After hearing all that, it’s no surprise that Nguyen and the other kids had a nickname for Ferguson. “You know what the Vietnamese people, what they call you? ‘Crazy American cowboy.’”

Nguyen eventually made it to America and became a U.S. citizen. He wanted him to know that, after all these years, he’s never forgotten the man who was a father figure to him when he needed it most. Nguyen told Ferguson, “I want you to know that I’m very grateful that I ended up coming to America, and I have a wonderful life in this country.”

We’ll Meet Again With Ann Curry airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on PBS.

Watch childhood friends who were separated during WWII reunite after 75 years:

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