Searching for reunion members

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Dad stops for gas, finds lost son
That headline was listed as best of last year by Parade Magazine. And, no wonder! It leads a story about John Garcia, Pueblo, Colorado, who stopped at a gas station he’s never visited even though he didn’t need gas and paid by check, which he never does. The clerk, Nueng Garcia, began to ask questions which ended in both realizing they were father and son.
from Parade Magazine

From Russia, with love
When Ikhel Vodonos’ flight from Moscow landed at the Los Angeles International Airport, one of the first people he saw was his brother, Joseph. It was the first time Ikhel met his brother and his first visit to the US. He was two months shy of his 80th birthday and Joseph, nearly deaf, eyesight failing, was turning 102.

Joseph immigrated to the US in 1913, twenty years before Ikhel was born in Belogorodka, a small Russian town. Brother, Shimshon, died in World War II and another brother, Shuki, and sister, Feiga, lived in Israel. It seemed like the family would never reunite.

Joseph’s wife, son and daughter-in-law, helped Joseph realize his fondest dream, one he’d dared not believe might come true. Devoutly religious, Joseph thought God had favored him with a miracle. Ikhel was filled with wonder and awe at the freedom he felt in America, not only could he worship as he pleased, food was plentiful.
from the Los Angeles Times

Essential search registry
If you are or know persons who are kin-by-birth, adoptees and birthparents, who are searching, there is one place they should be registered. The International Soundex Reunion Registry (ISRR) is the world’s largest registry for matching persons who desire contact. Any adoptee who is 18 or over, birthparent or adoptive parents of adoptees who may still be under 18 can register.

A form must be voluntarily completed and signed. The signature is required and is deemed legal consent for contact between parties. The form is computerized when it’s received and if there’s a match, both parties are notified immediately. ISRR is non profit, tax-exempt and it’s services are free but the organization relies entirely on the generosity of its users so since we support ISRR, we suggest donations with submissions. Get a registration form online at or send a SASE to ISRR, PO Box 2312, Carson City NV 89702-2312.

Desperately searching?
There is absolutely no charge to access the more than 117 million residential and business listings in‘s database, accessible 24/7, unlimited and free-of-charge.

It really is as simple as going to, providing contact information and beginning the search. Stella and Louis Perez worked with a copy of the USS Sheridan’s personnel Deck Log, containing more than 2,000 names to obtain addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses to invite the veterans to their reunion.

You might turn up more than a few Jim Jones, but if you have a state or city to go on, the results will be more tailored.

Searching by e-mail
Mrs. Joanne Emerick, a history teacher at Hoxie (Kansas) High School, e-mailed looking for help to find a World War II unit who befriended a 10-year old Filipino boy near Parang, Cotobato, Mindanao in 1945. His family hid and ran through the mountains during the war to escape the Japanese. They were hungry and no longer had possessions. The boy hung around the American soldiers at the coast and stayed in a tent with six black soldiers who “adopted” him, fed him and took him to church. The boy’s father was a minister so he knew Christian hymns. When the soldiers left Parang, the boy begged to go with them, but of course, he couldn’t.

He later came to America, became a citizen, married and was both a high school speech/debate teacher and a minister. He retired from teaching two years ago and is retiring from the ministry this year. As a surprise, his Christian church congregation is trying to locate the soldiers who still have a special place in his heart. Their information which they admit may be inaccurate is that they believe that that group might have been the 103rd Colored Division. Can you help us find these men?

An e-mail search
Sat, 21 Nov 1998
The Gray Genealogy mail list received a message from a man who is a child of a WWII US serviceman and asked if we could help find this vet. Here’s his request.
“I’m French living in the French Riviera. In 1943, between the Choupot and Cuvelier areas, Richard Gray, an American soldier was based at Oran, Algeria. He was twenty to twenty-three years old when he met my mother, Lucienne Martin who was seventeen. They wanted to be married. Gray was transferred at the end of 1943 or beginning of 1944 to an unknown place to continue the war. He should have been informed by mail of my birth on August 31, 1944.

Richard wrote a lot during the war, and when he returned to the USA in 1944 he wanted to marry her. He told her in his letters but they were intercepted and destroyed by my grandmother who didn’t want this marriage or her daughter and grandchild moving to the US.

My mother thought she had been deserted in a cowardly manner by her lover. Before her death, my grandmother confided that she destroyed all of their correspondence and a few papers belonging to my mother.

I created a web site to try to research him. In this site I have a picture of my mother at that time. I have written more than 1,000 e-mails to Gray families in the US. Unfortunately, the name Gray is very widespread. I just want to know if Richard Gray is still alive. I would very much like to find him, and hold him tight in my arms.”

Mister Paez Claude Richard
Allee du Vent d’Est – Les Vautes N° 7, 83320 – Carqueiranne France
phone 33 04 94 58 75 09
e-mail: [email protected]

A-hoy, Hunley
John Hunley, Madisonville, Louisiana, was always interested in maritime history. But when he learned there was a sunken submarine off the coast of South Carolina named the H.L. Hunley, his interest was piqued. He launched a search to see if he is related to the sub’s captain. He’s had no luck yet, but he is interested in hearing from anyone who might be able to help prove a Horace Hunley connection. Contact John Hunley, PO Box 613, Madisonville LA 70447.

Web site helps find military friends
What happened to the skinny kid from basic training? Or your high school sweetheart who was drafted? Or your next door neighbor’s dad who was transferred overseas? Check, a free web service dedicated to reuniting service members, retirees, veterans, spouses and children.

The idea came when Staff Sgt. Don P. Oliver, a range control NCO at Ft Jackson and his neighbor, retired Staff Sgt. Ed McWhirter, were reminiscing about friends from various duty stations. Every time they looked for an old friend, they could get only so far before they needed a credit card number. The sites that didn’t charge had long lists of unsearchable data.

Oliver decided that if thousands of people went to the trouble of posting unordered, hard-to-find messages, then many more would appreciate a comprehensive, searchable system. The site allows anyone to sign up and list former duty stations in a searchable database. You can search for service members by name or browse a comprehensive list of bases. This is an excellent way to find people whose names you can’t remember or whom you’ve forgotten altogether. Members “Lost and Found” messages appear throughout the site.

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