After a heart attack nearly took his life, Air Force Col. Bruce Hollywood decided it was time to find the Japanese woman who gave him up for adoption.
It was the beginning of a remarkable journey that not only led Hollywood to his birth mother, but also gave him greater appreciation for his Japanese-American heritage, he told the Washington Post.
"I've got to tell you if I didn't live it, I almost wouldn't believe it," Hollywood told the Washington Post.
Hollywood grew up knowing he was adopted. His father was Irish, his mother was Norwegian and he had Asian features.
On his way to work at the Pentagon in 2005, Hollywood suffered a heart attack. He realized one of his biggest regrets in his life had not been finding his Japanese birth mother. He resolved to find her.
Hollywood traveled to Japan and shared what information he had with the Japanese Embassy, but nothing turned up. He hired a private detective but that didn't work out either. He was ready to give up.
Hollywood's fortune changed a few months later when he met Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific and a nominated ambassador to South Korea, who offered to help.
Hollywood soon received a call from the Japanese Embassy that his mother had been found. He spoke with his mother, Nobue Ouchi, on the phone through an interpreter a short time later.
It was a happy reunion. Hollywood traveled to Japan and developed a relationship with his mother, who never married.
Nobue died in 2009. Since then Hollywood has become more involved in the Japanese-American community.
"As I got integrated in this community, I ended up becoming incredibly proud of this heritage that I had," he said.
Read the entire story at WashingtonPost.com.