Mark Chew, a Ridley High School graduate, and a successful restaurateur, continues to connect with his family in Vietnam, writes Steve Cahalan for the La Crosse Tribune.
Chew operates nine restaurants in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.
Chew, 58, is an adopted Vietnamese native who came to the U.S. in 1972 at age 11, living in suburban Philadelphia.
He grew up in the Vietnamese village of Cai Lay, but was orphaned at age 7 after he was told his family had been killed.
He was adopted by an American contractor, Melvin Chew, and was about to leave for America when he discovered his family was still alive. He still made the trip to America for the better opportunities here.
“It was a tough decision to leave your family.”
Chew wrote to his Vietnamese family for a few years until the end of the war in 1975, when the letters from Vietnam stopped coming.
Then in 2011, his Vietnamese family tracked him down and they’ve stayed in touch ever since. He and his wife traveled to Vietnam in January 2014, his first time there in more than 40 years. Now they visit once a year.
Read more about Mark Chew here.