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veteran find long lost japanese love
Photo by Nina Hill on Unsplash

You never forget that first love.

We swoon over romantic movies like “The Notebook” and “Before Sunrise” because they remind us of the enduring power of love. But sometimes, real life offers us a love story far more inspiring than any movie. This is one of those times.

Duane Mann thought he might have lost the love of his life forever. But after 70 years, he got his long-awaited reunion.

When Mann was just 22 years old, the farm boy from Iowa became a Navy soldier in the Korean War. While stationed in Japan, he fell in love with a young woman named Peggy Yamaguchi.

The two first met at the Air Force NCO Club, where Mann would fix the slot machines and Yamaguchi worked as the hat check girl. They shared a classic meet-cute—finding love on the dance floor.

“We could really dance together…I mean, to where the people would watch us,” Mann told KKTV, which originally covered their story.

Mann and Yamaguchi gradually fell in love, but fate apparently had other plans.


Not long after Yamaguchi became pregnant, Mann received word that the Navy would be shipping him back home. The father-to-be left his lover behind with the promise that he’d soon send for her, so that they could marry. He would soon tragically learn that his own father had fallen destitute, spending Mann’s life savings.

To make matters worse for Mann, Yamaguchi stopped writing to him … or so he thought. He discovered later that his mother had burned Yamaguchi’s letters, not wanting him to “marry a Japanese girl.” One final letter prevailed, however. In it Peggy disclosed that she had lost their baby, and had married someone else.

Struck with grief and guilt, Mann carried the fear that Yamaguchi felt abandoned by him. “It just wore me out,” he lamented. “That’s not the honorable thing to do.”

KKTV shared Mann’s heartbreaking story and it quickly spread on the internet. As is the way with social media, pretty soon people all over the world (even those in Japan) were invested in helping Mann with his lifelong search. As it turns out, Yamaguchi wasn’t exactly an ocean away anymore. More like across the river.

Yamaguchi lived only 650 miles away, across the Mississippi River in Michigan. She had built a life there with her second husband, with whom she shared three sons.

Had it not been for an article from a local newspaper in 1955 and a helpful history-savvy stranger, Yamaguchi’s whereabouts might have remained a mystery. Theresa Wong, a researcher for the TV channel HISTORY, found the old Daily Press article that had Yamaguchi’s picture, last name and address. Finally a solid clue. She knew she had to reach out.

“It just cut me right to my soul. I cannot imagine carrying around that kind of heartbreak for 70 years. I really hope this is that opportunity to get closure,” Wong told KKTV.

Mann seized that opportunity. And at age 91, he finally found his first love.

KKTV released a video of their touching reunion. In it they shared a long, sweet embrace. “You remember the dancing,” Yamaguchi asked, all smiles. “Oh yeah,” he replied with a warm chuckle.

As they reminisced about their time together, it was evident that no love was truly lost.

Duane got his wish after so many years. He told Yamaguchi that he didn’t abandon her … he just couldn’t find her. Yamaguchi gave him a kiss, whispering, “You must have loved me.”

He then showed her the glamorous black-and-white he had always kept close by in his wallet.

“It’s really been a freeing experience,” he told KKTV.

We don’t always get to choose the path that life takes us on. But if we’re patient, hopeful and maybe a little lucky, it puts us exactly where we need to be to find peace.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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Dyslexic plumber gets a life-changing boost after his friend built an app that texts for him

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via Pixabay

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There is a lot of mistrust surrounding the implementation of artificial intelligence these days and some of it is justified. There's reason to worry that deep-fake technology will begin to seriously blur the line between fantasy and reality, and people in a wide range of industries are concerned AI could eliminate their jobs.

Artists and writers are also bothered that AI works on reappropriating existing content for which the original creators will never receive compensation.

The World Economic Forum recently announced that AI and automation are causing a huge shake-up in the world labor market. The WEF estimates that the new technology will supplant about 85 million jobs by 2025. However, the news isn’t all bad. It also said that its analysis anticipates the “future tech-driven economy will create 97 million new jobs.”

The topic of AI is complex, but we can all agree that a new story from England shows how AI can certainly be used for the betterment of humanity. It was first covered by Tom Warren of BuzzFeed News.

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This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


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So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

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