Daw Hnin, who lives in Freemont, California, is the mother of Marine Staff Sergeant Tin Zaw Min Oo. He was born in 1973 and is popularly known as Tin Oo by his fellow marines, but the Burmese community knows him as Zaw Zaw.
His mom recently spoke to him:
“I was surprised to get a phone call from him to wish me happy birthday at midnight on March 26 from Iraq. He said that he borrowed a cell phone from one of the journalists covering war on the front line to call me. I havn't heard from him since then.”
She continued, “We came from Myaungmya (The Delta region in Burma) where creeks and rivers flow everywhere. My son and I used to swim in the nearby creek in Myaungmya. Of course, I was his swimming coach."
She told VOA Burmese about her son's training.
"We had no contact with him for three months of boot camp. He said that boot camp was tough. He passed the test in boot camp, thanks to his childhood swimming skill."
When VOA asked about her views on Iraq war, she said, “Living in the U.S., we have to serve this country as good citizens."
Daw Hnin said Zaw Zaw is a good son. He entered Buddhist monkhood nine times, according to the Burmese Buddhist tradition, since their arrival in America.
So far, he is safe and she continues to pray for his safe return.