RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV)
Thirty seven years ago Stephen Tapia enlisted in the Army and said goodbye to his mother and five brothers.
Now, he is seeing his family again for the first time since.
Tapia and his daughter live in Dallas, Texas and have spent years online searching for his mother.
A year and a half ago, they found one ‘Valery Tapia’ of Reno along with a phone number.
“I just about dropped dead,” says Valery Tapia, Stephens’s mother.
Stephen Tapia served six years in Germany from 1978 through 1984 and while overseas, he lost contact with his family.
“They moved, I moved,” says Stephen Tapia. “Letters go sent to old addresses.”
Tapia is an active patient of the Veteran Affairs North Texas Health Car System.
Thanks to the VA Sierra Nevada hospitals new zero wait time program, however, he can transfer to Reno.
“Obviously he needs help,” says Valery Tapia. “He is ill.”
This week, Stephen is moving to Reno to be with his longlost family and benefit from the medical treatment he needs.
“I want to live out the remainder of my years around my mother and my brothers while I am still alive,” says Tapia.