Story in La Jolla Light leads to a touching veteran reunion

By Ashley Mackin

After reading the story, “The Bishop’s School honors Padres announcer Jerry Coleman” in the Nov. 8 issue of La Jolla Light, a Nebraska man reconnected with Coleman, a former Marine with whom he served in the Korean War.

Over Veteran’s Day weekend, Raymond Dobias was watching a football game at his home in Atkinson, Neb. that was honoring some special veterans and Dobias recognized Coleman. The two served together in the Korean War, where Coleman was a pilot and Dobias loaded ammunition.

Dobias’s daughter, Marsha Meyer, then searched the Internet for the most recent news of Coleman in an effort to connect the two, and up popped La Jolla Light’s report on Coleman’s visit to The Bishop’s School for a Veterans Day salute on Nov. 2.

“My dad mentioned that it would be good to be able to talk to someone from so many years ago ... dad knew all about Coleman’s broadcasting career, and, of course, he knew about the baseball fame, but of all the things (Coleman) did in his life, the most important (to Dobias) was being a pilot during the Korean War,” Meyer said.

She e-mailed the Light and was put in contact with the Bishop’s School. Staff there connected father and daughter to Coleman, who promptly called Dobias on Nov. 27.

Meyer said she doesn’t know exactly what they discussed, but she knows they spoke about Dobias’ health and future correspondences.

Dobias is battling pancreatic cancer and Meyer said her father said he was touched that Coleman asked about his heath. They also talked about Coleman sending photos from Korea, including one of Dobias working on Coleman’s plane.

Meyer said at the end of the conversation, Coleman asked to speak to Dobias’ wife and requested that she do something for him.

“He told my mom that when the phone call was over, he wanted her to go over and give my dad a great big long hug. “Jerry Coleman is truly a class act,” Meyer said.