Dagmar Koch

My name is Dagmar and I am a member of this group. Some of you know my name already from the mailing list, but for all new members I will introduce me briefly.

I live near Trier, in West Germany. I was born in 1961, and I am a mother of 3 children.
My father was an American GI, who was stationed on Bitburg Air Force Base in Germany until he left in 1961, a short time before I was born. He knew about my mother’s pregnancy. My mother did not give me much information about him and she sadly died in 2000 at the age of 59.
She said his name is Jimmy, he came from Oklahoma, and was stationed in Bitburg.
Also she gave me a group photo, which showed him and three friends in a German pub.
That was all the information I had, not knowing if it was correct, or if Jimmy was a nickname.


So I started my search with this limited information at the age of 16. My family could not support me, because they know nothing about my father. They did not accept this connection, thus my mother did not tell about it.

I traced an old German girlfriend of my mother, who was living in USA. She did not know my father, but her American friend, was in the 71st tac. missle sq. and she told me that her friend and my father were stationed in the same unit in Bitburg.

With this information I wrote to many different institutions, asking for support, but without success!
They all told me the same - “ Without a last name for your father it is not possible to help you"

My search was an “UP and DOWN”, and had many breaks.

While my own family was growing up I had a big break from searching, but after a number of years, I decided to start again and after I have got my first computer and access to the internet in 1995, it seemed, that this would be a good opportunity to restart my searching for my roots. In fact I found much information and many addresses on the world wide web. I wrote postings on different websites saying that I was looking for my father. One day I received some advise from a man who told me about an English self-help group called GITRACE. I was very grateful, for this information and a little bit cynical at first because I had never heard about a group like that. I always felt alone in 'the large jungle' with my search, but I did not know of a better way, so after I read all the information about the group I became a member.

Thank goodness!

I found many nice people, who were willing to support, and gave me good advice.

After another break of one and a half years, my internal voice lead me again to continue the search for my father, for a last time. I now had more time, because my children had grown up and my motivation was very strong. I rejoined the online mailing list and at that time, a kind woman named Sally emailed me and asked for more information. All I could give her was the little I had. This was the beginning of the last part of my journey.

Over here in Germany I spend days and nights on the internet, I created my own webpage www.gi-search.net and also worked with different media, all without success! We made a short film and now a documentary about my story, which appears on 27th April on German TV.

After all this activity, still no one was found, who knew anything about my father, who I sometimes called 'a Phantom or a ghost'. During all this time, I stayed in contact with Sally. Sally was working with Dr. Niels Zussblatt in the background.

Dear members, today I can tell you, that another 'miracle' has happened! With that little information I gave to Sally, she and Niels have 'fitted the match' again - Congratulations to both of them!

They have done a wonderful work.

On the 21st January 2007, they found out my father’s name was JIMMIE DEAN CHOATE. He sadly died in 1994 at the age of 54. His wife sadly died in November last year .He left 4 children and 12 grandchildren. There also is one brother left.

What a success, after so many years of searching. I gladly can say now, “My roots are found!”

Sally is trying to make contact with the siblings now.

I am curiously, what all will happen. My internal voice always told me, to continue this search, but my mind said, “ It is not possible to find my father, only with a first name”. But Sally and Niels, who I never met in person, both made the 'impossible possible'! Therefore I will say, “A thousand thanks”.

All other members who are still searching, I must encourage and motivate you to never give up, even if you have little information. My special case is the best example that miracles can happen, we only have to believe! Even if it can be a long Journey, be patient and believe in God, yourself and your internal voice, and in the wonderful people of this group!

In this sense I will say “ Good bye to you” Thanks to all of you who have supported me. I hope to meet some of you personally in October at the GITRACE Meeting, especially the two people who made it possible for my dream to come true!

Thanks Sally and Niels!!

And also a big Thank You to Ute from Berlin for all her motivating words, during my 'downs' in this search.

With a grateful heart - Thank you to all of you!

You are wonderful!


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