Mesa man meets son for the first time after 26 years

MESA, AZ - An emotional reunion 26 years in the making - a Valley man met the son he never knew he had for the first time on Friday.

Twenty-seven years ago, Gary Hamm was in the Navy attending a Special Operations course on an Army base. There he met an Army woman and had a brief romance, never knowing that he had fathered a son with her.

Twenty-six years later, Josh Thomas of Brooklyn, New York, would make a shocking discovery. He found out his father was alive and living in Mesa, Arizona.

A year ago, Thomas took a DNA test through the popular website, Ancestry.com. He says he wanted to learn more about where he came from.

A few months ago he logged back into his account and saw he had new matches. Hamm had taken a DNA test as well -- and it showed he matched with Thomas. 

Thomas took to Facebook and sent him a message. The two connected and then began talking on the phone, eventually making plans for Thomas to fly out to Phoenix.

On Friday, Thomas hopped on a plane and made the trek across the country to meet his dad for the very first time. 

“My brain is scrambled right now,” said Hamm. Hamm waited in anticipation, full of emotion as he waited at Sky Harbor for his son to step off the plane. 

There were tears and laughs, and even more hugs as the two finally got to see each other after 26 years. 

“This is my son right here,” said Hamm. “This is my boy.”

The two now have a weekend full of meeting new family, making new memories and getting to know one another.

The two already share a common interest – the theater. Thomas is a theater major, and his dad was a former actor and bodyguard for several television shows.

“It’s nice that we have the acting bug in the family,” said Hamm.

The two say they are looking forward to beginning this new journey as father and son. 

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