Kristina Keneally reveals her Vietnam war veteran father has died and she can’t go to his funeral

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Kristina Keneally has shared a tribute to her late Vietnam war veteran father and revealed she will be unable to attend his funeral. 

The former premier of NSW, 51, announced his death and posted the touching message for her American father, 77, to social media on Sunday.       

‘I have sad news. My dad, John Kerscher, died yesterday. Due to border closures, we said goodbye on Zoom and we can’t go to his funeral in Ohio,’ she wrote. 

‘Like so many families, we are apart when we want to be together. My love to all families separated now, my hope that 2021 is better,’ Ms Keneally said. 

Former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally (pictured with her father) has revealed her Vietnam war veteran father died in a touching tribute posted to social media on Sunday afternoon

Former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally (pictured with her father) has revealed her Vietnam war veteran father died in a touching tribute posted to social media on Sunday afternoon

Ms Keneally said she would be unable to attend her father John Kerscher's funeral in Ohio due to border restrictions (casket pictured above) and shared her 'love to all families separated'

Ms Keneally said she would be unable to attend her father John Kerscher’s funeral in Ohio due to border restrictions (casket pictured above) and shared her ‘love to all families separated’

Ms Keneally (pictured above with Mr Kerscher) said her father died after a year-long battle with cancer linked to his exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War

Ms Keneally (pictured above with Mr Kerscher) said her father died after a year-long battle with cancer linked to his exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate explained her father had died after a year-long battle with cancer.   

‘For the past year my dad battled cancer linked to his exposure to Agent Orange during his two tours of service in Vietnam. He died in a veterans hospital in Michigan.’

Ms Keneally said Mr Kerscher had taught both herself and their extended family many important life lessons.   

‘Dad taught me to ‘play the game the way it was meant to be played’ – whether sport or politics, don’t hesitate or hang back, but rather act strongly, with conviction. 

‘He loved my mother faithfully, and he taught his children and grandchildren about faith, strength and integrity,’ she explained, alongside a series of old family photos. 

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (pictured in an old family photo with her dad) said her father taught her to 'play the game the way it was meant to be played'

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (pictured in an old family photo with her dad) said her father taught her to ‘play the game the way it was meant to be played’

She also praised her father for performing ‘a great feminist act’ despite their differing political views.  

‘Dad was a Republican. We rarely agreed on politics. But he performed a great feminist act – he raised me, his only daughter, just like his sons. 

‘No small feat in 1970s and 80s USA,’ Ms Keneally explained.  

Ms Keneally, who was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, served as premier of NSW from 2009 to 2011 and was the first woman to hold the position. 

She served as the member for Heffron, just south of Sydney’s CBD, between 2003 and 2012.     

Ms Keneally also praised her father (pictured with Ms Keneally's two sons) for performing 'a great feminist act' and raising her in the same way as her brothers

Ms Keneally also praised her father (pictured with Ms Keneally’s two sons) for performing ‘a great feminist act’ and raising her in the same way as her brothers

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