NJ Iraq War veteran meets his birth family

WESTAMPTON, N.J. (WPVI) —

A New Jersey veteran who was adopted got the thrill of a lifetime when he was reunited with his birth family.

It took years of searching, but this brother and sister finally met for the first time Friday in Burlington.

“I feel like I’m standing outside my body looking at someone else’s story unfolding,” Melissa Galatas of Arizona said.

Action News was there with Melissa as she waits to meet the brother she only recently learned she had.

“I hope I don’t cry, but it’s definitely a possibility,” Melissa said.

The emotional hug, years in the making for Kyle Gulden,from Pemberton who’s never met his father despite years of searching.

The Iraq War veteran is married and has two daughters. His wife says the not-knowing weighed on him.

“He’s always wondered where is my dad? Does he know about me? Do I have sisters? Brothers? I’m really happy this happened for him,” Kyle’s wife Lauren Gulden said.

After years of searching Kyle learned about Melissa in November through MyHeritageDNA dot com. Their DNA matched and so did their personalities.

“When I found out I had Melissa, it kinda filled a void and there’s definitely a connection there from the first few times we started talking,” Kyle said.

Melissa Galatas of Gilbert, Arizona said, “It’s opened up a whole new adventure in life. I have 2 beautiful nieces now which is amazing, a sister-in-law.”

Melissa connected Kyle to his dad whom he hopes to meet soon.

A family drawn together, and now making up for lost time.

“We’ve got 31 years of me torturing her,” Kyle said.

Besides his dad, Kyle has learned he also has a brother, three aunts and cousins whom he hasn’t met. But for this weekend, he’s focused on enjoying having a sister.
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