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The tale of “the one that got away” has been told by broken-hearted lovers as long as there have been broken-hearted lovers.

For Charles Finucane — a soldier stationed in South Korea in 1966 — Han Kwang-soo is the lost love.

Finucane is now on a mission to find the woman he planned to marry before fate stepped in and sent him away from Korea decades ago.

He said he met the woman — who worked in a food market about a quarter-mile from her Pocheon home — through a co-worker.

“We never quarreled or disagreed,” Finucane said. “She was always doing things to endear herself to me.”

After seven months together, Finucane proposed. With the blessing of her parents, Han accepted. But two months later, on the day Finucane had intended to go to Seoul and get the paperwork for marriage, his company commander relayed a message from the States that his father had fallen over a railing and was in critical condition.

“When I got the message it sounded like he wouldn’t make it through the night,” Finucane said.

“But when I got home I found out his condition was bad, but not life-threatening. If I had known, I would have stayed in Korea and gotten married.”

The two stayed in touch through letters while Finucane attempted to struggle through the process of securing a visa so she could travel to the States and they could marry.

Finucane said he received only discouragement from both U.S. and Korean embassies, and eventually he lost touch with Han.

He stopped receiving letters, and the letters he sent were returned unopened.

Eventually, he moved on with his life, marrying twice, fathering a child and building a successful business.

But still he pined for Han. He said that ever since leaving Korea, for more than 40 years, he’s thought and dreamed of her daily.

He has no idea where Han is, if she ever married or even if she’s alive, and he’s offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can help him find her.

If circumstances permit, he’d like to do what he said he wishes he’d done all of those years ago — marry her.

“If I could say one thing to her now it would be that I’m very sorry we missed our chance as young people to consummate our marriage, but I still love you the same way I did when I left Korea,” Finucane said.

“And I still have the picture of you that you wrote on saying ‘love me forever.’”

Contact Charles Finucane via e-mail at: crusty1@alltell.net or via phone at 1-440-298-3165.

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