The Magic of Hats and the Journey of Ten


I often wear one of these hats, because so often I meet interesting people when the hat attracts the attention of a passerby. It begins with the usual “Thank you for your service.”

I stepped into the elevator one morning in Denver where I was attending the 40th annual reunion of the USS Balch and USS Porterfield, two ships from the WW-II era.

Pete Coulson greeted me with the “Thank you for your service” greeting and that set off a very interesting conversation in the hotel lobby.


Pete took interest in what all of us sailors were all about, but we quickly shifted to his life story, or rather the story of his family.

As you watch the video, you learn that Pete was #7 of 10 throwaway kids in Austria in the late 1040s following the War. These kids were mixed race of black American GIs and white Austrian girls. And nobody wanted them and they wound up in an orphanage.

Pete’s father was a GI stationed in Austria and met a young girl and they fell in love.


They went to America, but were unable to have children. Then they heard of an orphanage in Austria that needed some help, so they returned to Austria and adopted 10 mixed race children — all at the same time.

Watch and listen to this heart warming story at

In meeting and talking with Pete ever so briefly, his joy of life and joy of the Lord comes through strongly, as does his life long ministry of working with youth.

Unfortunately, I’ve lost Pete’s e-mail address so I’m not able to correspond with him.

Don Johnson – September 2015


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