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Bragg soldier overjoyed after reunion with family in Africa

Posted January 28, 2015

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— Seeing his mother for the first time in 27 years is a moment that Sgt. Peter Kuch says he’ll never forget. 

Each thought the other was killed by rebels during the civil war in Sudan, where Kuch was born. The Fort Bragg soldier recently returned from Africa, where he reunited with her and other family members.

“When my mom came, I was just so happy," said Kuch. "I tried to hug her and she was so happy, and the next thing she just fainted in my arms and went down."

She eventually came to, and that’s when the family reunion took off.

“I met my dad. I met my two sisters. I met one of my brothers,” Kuch said.

He also met countless nieces, nephews and cousins.

“I was just so happy to be with them," Kuch said. "Actually, I ended up staying with them, even though I had a room at a guest house that I rented. I couldn't go back. I just stayed with them for (the) entire time.”

The trip to Africa would not have happened if it were not for the generosity of family friend James Ytuarte and his wife.

“I talked to my wife and said, 'If we could pull it off, you want to do it?' And she said, 'Sure.'" Ytuarte said. "So, we bought him a ticket. It's just about doing something good for somebody."

Kuch passed the blessing of his trip on to his family by giving them the clothes off his back.

“When I went there, I saw all those kids," he said. "I give all my clothes that I had with me."

Now his heart is filled with joy after seeing his mother, something he says she knew would always happen.

“She said, 'All these years I was praying, and I knew one day that God would bring you back to me,'" Kuch said.

4 Comments

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  • jmcdow2792 Jan 29, 2015

    Great story. Gilbert is one of my favorites on WRAL.

  • Erika Phipps Jan 28, 2015
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    This is such a beautiful story. You know that young man never stopped dreaming of seeing his parents, even if he did think they were killed. And the parents - I can only imagine a spark of the explosion of love and familiarity that hit them - it would be enough to make me faint too! Such a lovely miracle! And here he is repaying the US with service to the country that wanted him.

  • realcloak Jan 28, 2015

    God bless this soldier, his family, and the unfettered love of mankind.

    Shame on those who would use this platform to embrue such a beautiful article with political rhetoric and thinly veiled racist anecdotes. I'm so glad that the ignorance of the not too recent past in the south is but a generation away from being forever washed into the sewer whence it came. Obama had nothing to do with this proud young man and the love he has for his family, whom he thought were lost forever.

    It's comments like the one below that are proof positive that there is much to learn in the deep south. Thank God this soldier is willing to lay down his life so Americans can say such foolish things without regret.

  • miseem Jan 28, 2015

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    Don't hold your breath.