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Navy Nurse Reunites With Brother after 30 Years

Compliments of: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean P. Lenahan 


The term “Navy family” took on a whole new meaning for two sailors – long-lost siblings — serving less than 320 miles apart.

Cmdr. Cindy Murray, a senior nursing officer assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Military Health Center, was separated at age 8 from her brother, Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Robert Williamson, who is assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 122 at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.

“I remember holding him in my arms when he was just a tiny baby,” she said.

Uprooted from her home in the greater Denver area, Murray lost all contact with her brother after her father and mother split up in the late 1970s. Williamson remained with his father and stayed in Denver. Each sibling searched for the other over the years, they said, making it their personal mission to recover what they had lost.

“I waited my whole life to see him again,” Murray said.

Both were unknowingly elusive from each other at times.

“I’ve known Cindy was there, and I have always tried to locate her, but I could never lock down where exactly she was,” Williamson said.

At long last, with both having more than 20 years in the service, the Navy became the conduit to finding each other.

“I [called] my father, who I hadn’t spoken to since I was 20, and he tells me Robert is in the Navy,” Murray said. “I got my chief and said, ‘Find this name, this is my brother!’”

Murray’s leading chief petty officer, Hospital Corpsman Jeremy Simon, made the connection possible.

“She learned that he may be a chief petty officer and asked if I knew how to find him,” Simon said. “Someone asked me for help, and I just did what I do — I helped.  I figured she would fill me in on the back side once everything calmed down.”

Williamson then received a mysterious phone call.

“It was kind of funny. Being a chief, we have chiefs everywhere,” he explained. “I was at work really busy, and then I was told that there is [a chief] and a commander from San Diego that is on the phone for me.”

Simon was able to locate Williamson and connect him to his sister via telephone within 30 minutes. Things became even more surreal when the two of them actually spoke.

“I said, ‘This is your sister Cindy. I can’t even believe this is happening. Do you have any idea how long I have been looking for you? I’ve looked for you forever and here you are in the Navy — we were practically under each other’s noses,’” said Murray, choking up. “It was a very emotional phone call.”

Williamson explains what it was like on his end of that fated phone call.

“It was overwhelming! You have a million questions that you want to ask. I was so excited I even forgot to ask what she does in the Navy,” he said.

The two shared information about their lives and noticed a lot of similarities.

“Colorado is more known for the people joining the Air Force or National Guard there,” Williamson said. “We weren’t really around the Navy. But knowing we are both still making a career out of it … is kind of weird.”

For Murray, it was the simple things that she found interesting.

“We both love goldfish crackers, and we both love the same types of TV shows,” she said.

Now in constant dialogue through emails, social media and phone calls, the brother and sister have a lot of catching up to do.

“After the first phone call, our Facebook pages imploded. We sent each other pictures immediately, and we both posted mutual stories,” Murray said.

With the reunion came new family members from Williamson’s side for Murray.

“My wife is just ecstatic!” he said. “I didn’t really have any immediate family, and now I have someone. I have three boys and a grandson, and they are all surprised. Since the kids are older it’s a lot easier because they are all very understanding.”

They even talked about spending future vacations and holidays together.

“We are hoping to get together with his family in Cabo San Lucas for Christmas since I have a timeshare,” Murray said.

Simon shared his thoughts on the role he played in making this long-awaited reunion possible.

“Helping this family is one of the proudest moments in my career,” he said. “Our Navy is awesome and to find out that they are both serving does not surprise me. There is a bond among siblings, and where one is serving, you can usually find another.”

Williamson explains what it’s like to finally have his sister in his life.

“The main thing is to never give up. Multiple times she looked and looked, and one little phone call ended 30 years of no contact,” he said. “Amazing. Outstanding.”

Williamson and Murray are currently coordinating their schedules to make an in person reunion possible. They continue to foster their relationship through phone, email, and social media.

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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