WWII VETERAN REUNITED WITH DOG TAGS 70 YEARS LATER

Posted on July 4th, 2016 by:

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WWII VETERAN REUNITED WITH DOG TAGS 70 YEARS LATER

This Independence Day WWII veteran Bennie Howard Jr. was reunited with his dog tags after losing them on an Italian beach over 70 years ago.

Howard, now 92, last saw his dog tags when he was a 19-year-old GI stationed in Italy. He dropped them on a beach near Florence and never expected to see them again.



veteran

Bennie Howard Jr. and Jury Galli (Photo: Emma Wright/CBS North Carolina)

Last year, Jury Galli, an Italian citizen, was searching for buried treasure and found the dog tags with his metal detector.

Clearly written on the tags were Howard’s name and his hometown of Wendell, South Carolina. Through Facebook, Galli contacted the town of Wendell, hoping to return the tags to their original owner.

“About 10 months ago we got a random Facebook post from Mr. Galli and it said, ‘I found this dog tag. It says Wendell, North Carolina on it. I started researching and found out Mr. Howard was still alive and living in New Bern,” said Patrick Reidy, a spokesman for Wendell.

Jury Galli decided it wasn’t enough to return the tags by mail so he bought a plane ticket to the United States and on July 4, returned them personally to a grateful Howard.

“I was surprised because after the time span, it’s almost something impossible,” said Howard.

The Town of Wendell honored both Howard and Galli in their Fourth of July parade.

“It’s a beautiful moment for me. I remember, all my life, this moment,” Galli said.

Howard said receiving his dog tags gives this 4th of July an even bigger meaning and is thankful to Mr. Galli and his hometown for celebrating the occasion with him.



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