Trần Văn Kirk (Kellerhals)
Kirk was born as Trần Văn Hung in DaNang, Vietnam in the summer of 1969 during the height of the Vietnam War. Immediately after being born, he was taken to the Sacred Heart Orphanage on the order of his Vietnamese grandfather, who felt shame from his daughter’s pregnancy by an American military service member. In 1972, he was adopted by a US Army Major that was serving in the Vietnam War and was raised in a wonderful loving adoptive family. As a military dependent, he has lived all over the globe but spent most of his formative years in Texas and South Korea.
Kirk spent the first 48 years of his life believing that his birth parents were killed in the Vietnam War. In 2017, on a whim he submitted to a DNA test simply to learn more about his true ethnicity which led him to the discovery of his birth mother and father, whom were both alive and well and living in the US, and birth siblings he didn’t know existed. Since then, he has reconnected with his birth family and in 2019, his life came full circle when he returned to Vietnam and reconnected with his Vietnamese relatives as well as two Catholic nuns who cared for him at the orphanage. In 2023, Kirk legally changed his name to Trần Văn Kirk to reclaim his Vietnamese roots and identity, and to honor the life and name lovingly given to him by his adoptive parents.
Kirk has an AA in Photojournalism and BA in Communications from Austin Peay State University. His diverse professional background includes a storied career in Law Enforcement, Photojournalism, and Multimedia Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations. He is currently a Communications Professional and UAS Pilot for the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Kirk resides in the beautiful coastal community of Norfolk, Virginia with his wife Madeliene and their children. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of Tim Lai which is a partnering 501(c)(3) NPO with SEA2C as well as Amerasians Without Borders (AWB). Tim Lai and AWB have many missions that parallels the missions of SEA2C and the collaboration and sharing of resources between Tim Lai, AWB, and SEA2C is going a long way to positively impact lives. When he's not working, he enjoys long distance running, fishing, surfing, boating, and most importantly of all, quality family time.
Kirk is an award winning Documentary Film Maker and serves as the Director and Executive Producer for the SEA2C in-house documentary series production, "Intersections". "Intersections" was selected as "Winner - Best Inspirational Film", "Finalist - Best Documentary Feature Film", and "Nominee- Best Director for Documentary Feature Film" in the October 2022 Cannes World Film Festival and was selected as an "Official Selection" and won an "Excellence" award for a Documentary Feature in the 2023 Documentaries Without Borders International Film Festival. He also serves as the Race Director for the annual Ocean View "Storm the Bay" Race series which made its' debut in Ocean View, Norfolk, Virginia in October 2022. This race series benefits the military centric programs of SEA2C.
Through the SEA2C Foundation, Kirk seeks to share his blessings by reuniting war orphans with birth families and veterans separated by the war and to help each find healing from a lifetime of stigmas attached to being a part of that tumultuous time in our history. He is also passionate about giving back to our active duty military personnel and Veterans who have served honorably in combat to maintain the freedoms that are so often taken for granted.