Soldier And Sister Reunited In Tulsa

Wednesday, April 1st 2009, 10:06 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Fighting a war on two fronts has separated thousands of families for months, even years.  One soldier's call to duty sent him hundreds of miles from home, but brought a family together.

Tulsa International Airport is usually filled with people looking for loved ones. One woman is looking for a loved one she thought she'd lost for good.

"That's 12 more minutes if it gets here on time.  I don't know what to say guys.  OK," said Lisa Leader.

Fidgeting and pacing, taking deep breaths and anxiously checking the monitors, Lisa Leader can barely contain herself.

"I am extremely excited. Nervous, anxious, every emotion you can imagine having. I'm feeling it all at one time," said Lisa Leader.

She's waiting on a special soldier.

"I saw him one time, when he was two years old. And, that's it," said Lisa Leader.

That was 25 years ago.  The little boy was her baby brother. 

Estranged from her father, Lisa has a family of her own, but siblings she's never met, until just a few months ago, when her brother found her on Facebook.    

Rick Gilmore lives in Montana.  But, he's training for a third deployment to Iraq in Oklahoma.

"The fact that he has four days before he goes on his third tour and he could go anywhere. He could go see his child. and he wants to see his big sister," said Lisa Leader.

Scanning faces for traces of her own, she worries she might not recognize someone she's only seen on the computer.

"I'm gonna have a panic attack or a heart attack," said Lisa Leader.

But, when he walked through the door, the baby brother she's never known, she knew in an instant.

The two made introductions, but they already have more in common than just blood.  Both are veterans.

"It's about family and to be reunited with a brother is just wonderful," said Lisa Leader.

Rick and Lisa say they're going to spend the next four days making up for a lifetime.