Waimanalo Family Reunited with Niece

Sarah Michel
Sarah Michel
William Alameda
William Alameda

(KHNL) It was a reunion 40 years in the making in Waimanalo this weekend.

In 1968 it was a different world. The draft was on and William Alameda from Waimanalo found himself in the Army in Vietnam.

The local boy, far from home, fell in love with a Vietnamese woman. He would soon be a dad but William was killed in action before the birth of his daughter.

Sarah Michel tells News 8, "I was born February 1st, 1969 to a Vietnamese mother and my father was American G.I."

Fearing her daughter would be killed, Sarah's birth mom put her up for adoption.

Sarah says she grew up in Michigan but stayed in contact with her birth mother, "Little by little she was able to tell me information about my father but it was very difficult for her."

"His name was Allen or William but because of the language barrier I could never not get the full information."

It took nearly 40 years but Sarah's birth mom gave a clue to the correct spelling of her dad's last name and Sarah found it on the Vietnam casualty list.

"There were three names that came up. The second one was William Alameda. Instantly I knew that was my father," says Sarah.

She contacted the Alameda's in Hawaii and they finally met each other this weekend at a luau in her honor.

"We would get in touch with one Alameda after another Alameda," recalls Sarah.

However, initially, the Alameda family was skeptical.

"I had to feel if she was really my niece, my brother's daughter because of him dying in Vietnam not letting family know he a had relationship in Vietnam. DNA tests proved she was William's daughter," says Sarah's uncle Gordon Alameda.

"There is a piece of my brother still living. It's like my brother is alive again yet he's resting," says Alameda.

"Just to meet them in person and touch them and feel my dad's brothers just brings me closer to my father."