Randy Gatewood saw his niece and nephew for the first time since he disappeared nearly 10 years ago.

The 79-year-old Air Force Veteran went missing from his Arizona home in 2007.

His younger brother Gene filed a missing persons report and over time, feared the worst for his bother.

Gatewood has dementia. "I hate to say it, but I thought he was probably deceased. That’s the story I’ve been telling family and friends for quite some time," said Gene.

The Gatewoods’ fortunes forever changed when he met with a National City policeman.

"He gets on his cell phone, calls back to his headquarters and checks their records and tells us that on September 1, 2011, Randy was admitted to Paradise Valley Hospital right there in National City," said Gene.

Medical records helped Gene track his brother to a health center in California.

The Gatewood family is back together again. They are now focusing on trying to piece together where exactly Randy’s been, and rebuilding their relationship with him.

(Copyright 2016 NBC News Channel. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox