Reunions
Vietnam vet learns he has a daughter and grandsons he never knew existed after taking DNA test
His life became complete at the age of 78.
Michael Dabu
05.22.22

It’s definitely hard to live a life without your parents beside you, let alone never knowing them.

This story will surely tug at your heartstrings.

Olivia Robles Mauger lived a normal life with her parents. But at the age of 10, she discovered that the man she thought was her biological father was only her stepdad.

They, however, never fell short of love and gave all of Olivia’s needs. Her parents were there to support her from day 1 until she became a full-fledged woman.

But to Olivia, life has just begun and it wasn’t too late yet to start looking for her real father.

All she ever knew was that she was born in the Philippines. As luck would have it, a DNA sample of hers came to a match and became a key in connecting her to some distant cousins.

Soon, they started sending her pictures of a man who they claimed to be Olivia’s father.

“The next thing you know, she’s sending me a picture of my dad and the resemblance between my youngest son Ryan and my dad — it was so compelling,” Olivia told FOX 6.

She then had a prospect named Gary Barnes.

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For the longest time, Vietnam war veteran, Gary Barnes had normally lived his life but also felt like he was missing something.

During the war, he spent much of his time in the Philippines where he believed to have met Olivia’s mom. They dated but soon lost communication when they got deployed back to Vietnam.

Unfortunately, they never met again since then.

Nevertheless, this tragic back story about Gary’s life during the war led Olivia to contact him in 2017.

She called Gary and asked him if he was okay to go through a DNA test.

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The 78 war veteran thought he never had children, but he unhesitatingly agreed to Olivia’s request.

He also recalled his story with Olivia’s mom and said, “I never even knew she was pregnant.”

Both Olivia and Gary were missing a piece on their puzzles and it was about time they complete it.

The senior war veteran went through the process of DNA testing. They soon got the results and confirmed that Olivia is indeed Gary’s biological child.

She wasted no second and traveled miles away to finally meet her real dad.

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Their first meeting happened in California in November of 2017. Olivia, a mother of three, even described their first meeting as “twins reuniting.”

She said, “This is truly a miracle; I’ve been on this quest for so many years since I was 10 years old, and here we find each other at age 50 and 78, so it’s a miracle.”

“For individuals who have always had their parents all their lives, it’s just something a lot of people really take for granted. You have that longing,” she added.

Gary visited Olivia’s home in Tampa where he also had the chance to finally meet his grandsons and great-grandson.

“I never thought in a million years I’d know who my grandpa was,” Ryan Robles (one of his grandsons) said.

As fate would have it, all of Gary’s grandsons also had military experience. Olivia’s oldest served in the Army, the middle-born was in the Coast Guard, and the youngest is a cadet at West Point.

Fate really moves in mysterious ways. By meeting each other, both Gary and Olivia’s lives were now complete. Just like what Gary said, “More important than anything in life there is family.”

Watch the video below to see their heartwarming reunion.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Michael Dabu
hi@sbly.com
Michael Dabu is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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