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Finding Refuge in KC | Hank Nguyen

A Refugee Who Did it His Way

Hank Nguyen
Hank Nguyen came to the United States from Vietnam. He and his wife now operate San's Sandwiches in Gladstone. (Dave Burkhardt | Flatland)
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Hank Nguyen is a Vietnamese “boat person” in the truest sense. He spent a year building a boat on a remote island in the Mekong River to make his escape from his home country.

Nguyen and dozens of others used the boat to make a perilous journey across the Pacific Ocean to Indonesia, and on to a new life in the United States. In a life marked by more than his share of tragedy, he has found lasting happiness in Kansas City.

In 2017, Nguyen and his wife San opened San’s Sandwiches, a popular Vietnamese restaurant in Gladstone where he routinely serenades customers with a version of the Frank Sinatra standard “My Way.”

See the attached video for the rest of his remarkable story on this week’s installment of “Finding Refuge in KC.”


December KCPT Member Guide.

Coming to KCPT

Follow “Finding Refuge in KC” to learn much more about five Americans who got their starts as refugees. Look for weekly video episodes on Flatland beginning Nov. 15. Our complete documentary will air Dec. 20. “Finding Refuge in KC” is a project of KCPT and Gusewelle Films. Producer/Director: Jennie Gusewelle; Videographer/Editor: Dave Burkhardt.

Sponsored by:
Baldwin & Vernon
Pella and Jack Fingersh
Jamie and Bush Helzberg
The Herman Family Foundation
Linda Lighton and Lynn Adkins
Seyferth Family Fund


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