Home > Local News > An emotional homecoming for the first Cambodian-born US Navy commander

An emotional homecoming for the first Cambodian-born US Navy commander

Michael Vannak Khem has made an emotional return
to his birth country in 37 years and met his relatives and an auntie
who helped arrange for his adoption in 1973 for the first time his ship. The commander’s face was impassive at first, but it softened as more and more extended family members
were helped onto the barge below him. Then he saw his aunt, now 72, who
had helped him leave for the US so many years ago. Commander Misiewicz
walked slowly down the metal stairs and they embraced, weeping.


“When I saw her this morning,” he later told reporters on the ship, “I just couldn’t hold back the tears, I was so happy that she was here. It’s been a very long time.”
In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2010, family members of the U.S. navy
officer Michael “Vannak Khem” Misiewicz boarding the USS Mustin at
Cambodian coastal international sea port of Sihanoukville, about 220
kilometers (137 miles) southwest of
Phnom Penh,
Cambodia. Misiewicz finally returned home Friday as commander of the
U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mustin, reuniting with the relatives who
wondered whether they would ever see him alive, and the aunt who helped
arrange his adoption. His ship departs Monday.

In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2010, Samrith Sokha, 72, hugs her nephew
and U.S. navy officer Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz at Cambodian
coastal international sea port of Sihanoukville, about 220 kilometers
(137 miles) southwest of Phnom Penh , Cambodia.
In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2010, U.S. navy officer Michael “Vannak Khem” Misiewicz smiles as he delivers his welcome speech on the deckof the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mustin at Cambodian coastal
international sea port of Sihanoukville, about 220 kilometers (137
miles) southwest ofPhnom Penh , Cambodia. 
In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2010, U.S. navy officer Michael “Vannak
Khem” Misiewicz  embraces his aunt Samrith Sokha, 72.

In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2010, U.S. navy officer Michael “Vannak
Khem” Misiewicz embraces his aunt Samrith Sokha, 72, at Cambodian
coastal international see port of Sihanoukville, about 220 kilometers
(137 miles) southwest ofPhnom Penh , Cambodia.

In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2010, U.S. navy officer Michael
“Vannak Khem” Misiewicz becomes emotional as he embraces his aunt
Samrith Sokha, 72, at Cambodian coastal international sea port of
Sihanoukville, about 220 kilometers (137 miles) southwest of Phnom Penh
, Cambodia. Misiewicz finally returned home Friday as commander of the
U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mustin, reuniting with the relatives who
wondered whether they would ever see him alive, and the aunt who helped
arrange his adoption. His ship departs Monday. 
Source: Khmerization
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Categories: Local News
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