LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A once-homeless veteran reunited with his mother after being apart for 25 years.
Mary Schofield hasn’t hugged her son, David Abeyta, for decades.
“There’s never been one moment ever that I haven’t thought about him,” Schofield said.
The 76-year-old last saw Abeyta when he joined the Air Force in 1989.
Abeyta told KCAL9’s Amy Johnson he lost contact with his entire family.
“I made a lot of mistakes. And I felt guilty, I think,” he said.
Abeyta served four years in the service, he lost a child, his marriage fell apart and he struggled with gambling.
He hit rock bottom and ended up living on the streets.
“I had suffered from depression and it just seemed like nothing I could do was right. I wanted to make sure everything was right before I went back [to my mom],” he said.
The vet would get a second chance when he was accepted into the SRO Housing Corporation on Skid Row. He also began taking classes at L.A. City College.
Then, an article about his success was randomly seen by his brother, who told their mother. She contacted SRO.
“‘[Schofield said], I am a mom and my son is on your website,’” SRO’s Julia Shimicu said.
Shimicu wrote the article and helped the mother and son get together.
“It was truly special. We were all so moved and so touched and really, really happy to be a part of this reunion,” she said.
Schofield and Abeyta caught up with stories and scrapbooks.
“I’m glad to have this moment with my mom,” Abeyta said.
“He was always with me every single day and night and he was never far,” Schofield said. “What a happy Mother’s Day it is.”