Vietnamese vet's ashes found during cleanup of Merrimack River

LAWRENCE, Mass. — A Vietnamese veteran's ashes and the urn they were in were found by a cleanup crew working on the Merrimack River.

The white, rectangular urn contained the ashes of Truong Ngoc Nguyen, a major for the republic of South Vietnam who fought the communist regime in his home country.

At age 88, Nguyen passed away peacefully at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton in the fall of 2016, according to his obituary.

It is unclear how his ashes ended up in the Merrimack River.

Nguyen commanded a region in southern tip of Vietnam with important ports along the coast, spending eight years in rehabilitation following the end of the war.

He eventually made it to Lawrence, Mass. in 1989 when he fled political persecution in Vietnam. He was later honored as a Lieutenant Colonel by the U.S. Armed Forces.

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