DNA test reunites Vietnam vet with Australian daughter after 50 years

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 10:01 PM MDT
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K.I. SAWYER, Mich. (WLUC/Gray News) - Using DNA tests, a Vietnam veteran from Michigan connected with his long lost daughter in Australia after 50 years.

“I guess overall it was the defining years of my life,” said Marshall Davis, a Vietnam veteran.

Davis looked through old photos from his time as a master sergeant in the Vietnam War - a time that would prove more defining than he imagined, thanks to a week of leave, some rest and relaxation in Australia and a woman.

“I met Denise at one of the clubs, and we spent the night dancing and drinking a little bit. Well, I drank a lot. We stayed together for three days,” Davis told WLUC.

After leaving, he continued serving in the military and eventually returned to his life in the U.S., thinking his time with Denise would remain just a memory. That is until his nephew did a DNA test revealing a cousin in Australia.

It turned out that Davis had a daughter he didn’t know about.

“Once I saw her, I knew she was mine, but I did the DNA test for additional proof. It came back yes, she’s my daughter, and I couldn’t be happier about it,” Davis said.

After 50 years, a family has come together at last, as Marshall Davis and his son, Jason Davis,...
After 50 years, a family has come together at last, as Marshall Davis and his son, Jason Davis, met Maxine Lewis, the former's long lost Australian daughter.(wluc)

Maxine Lewis of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, says she tried for years to learn the identity of her father. Raised by her grandparents, she had no clues to start with, but at 50, Lewis was given a DNA test as a gift.

After years of searching there he was, printed plainly on a list, her dad.

“All of the questions that I thought I had throughout my years don’t matter,” Lewis said. “From here on, that’s what matters now.”

She quickly booked a plane to meet her newfound family in person.

“Walking through the doors, it was like it was really happening, and as soon as I saw them, I was just coming home,” Lewis said. “It felt like it was the right thing to do, it was the right place to be, it was the right family.”

Jason Davis, Marshall Davis’ son, says this whole situation is a miracle. He said he always thought he had a sister out there after he had a dream when he was 13 years old.

“There’s a bigger picture going on here,” he said. “True happiness in life, you just pursue it with everything you got and don’t give up before the miracles happen. They can come true. Mine did.”

The family plans to spend the next week with each other in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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