During the Korean War, Norm Van Sloun served as one of two hospital corpsmen on the USS Point Cruz, a massive aircraft carrier. But while he was caring for the 1,000 men on the ship, in 1953 some sailors who were walking in Seoul heard a cry and found a baby in a trash can. The infant was half-Korean, with blue eyes and blonde hair and had been left for dead after Korean orphanages refused to accept him.
Van Sloun says the ships medics became more like mothers to the baby, whom they named George Ascom Cruz, after the area he was found and the ship they were on. For three months these Navy men cared for Baby George, turning the sick bay into a nursery and having daily visiting hours on deck so the sailors could get their baby fix. News of Baby George spread and it really boosted morale for service members who were homesick. "Right below the American flag, we flew a diaper," Van Sloun said.
The story went on to be made into a movie in the 90s called "1,000 Men and a Baby," which was later renamed "Narrow Escape."
Eventually, Baby George was adopted by a Navy surgeon in Spokane. His name became Dan Keenen and he has had 2 babies of his own and now has 3 grand kids to boot! Norm told the story back home for decades to his daughters, who wondered what ever came of that little boy. But it wasn't until his recent move to a senior living center where staff decided to help him search the internet. And after 66 years, he tracked him down. When the men got to talk, Keenen thanked Van Sloun for everything the sailors did for him. “If it weren’t for you guys, I literally wouldn’t be here today because I wouldn’t have survived there,” he told him. Norm says those months at sea with "Baby George" were the most important of his life. "At the time I was just doing my job. But now I see how God used me to not only save the baby, but to save his future children and grandchildren".