After online discovery, NJ vet meets unknown half-sister

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After online discovery, NJ vet meets unknown half-sister. Action News reporter Jeff Chirico has the story. (WPVI)

A New Jersey veteran got the thrill of a lifetime when he met a half-sister who, until recently, he didn't know he had.

It took years of searching, but the two 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 waited to meet her half-brother, Kyle Gulden from Pemberton.

"I hope I don't cry, but it's definitely a possibility," Melissa said.

They finally met and shared an emotional hug that was years in the making. Gulden 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?'" Lauren Gulden said. "I'm really happy this happened for him."

After years of searching, Kyle learned about Melissa in November through MyHeritageDNA.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.

Galatas said, "It's opened up a whole new adventure in life. I have two 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 half-sister.
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familynew jersey newsveteranfamilyDNAsiblingsreunionWestampton
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