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Weeks after Wife's Death, 92-Year-Old WWII Vet Gets Item in Mail He Lost 73 Years Ago

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Life is wild, right? Just the way that things work out, the timing of life, it certainly makes you think about a greater connectivity in the world.

Take Boris Stern. The 92-year old retiree was living out his life in Carrollwood, Florida.

He was still reeling from the recent death of his wife. Less than two weeks had passed when he received an unexpected letter.

It was sealed tightly and postmarked from France. Stern’s curiosity was piqued.

He took the letter to his friend Dan Fucarino, who owns the Carrollwood Pharmacy. Fucarino grabbed a letter opener and helped Stern pry through the packaging.

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What he found inside absolutely floored him. It was the dog tag he lost 73 years earlier!



Stern is a veteran of World War II. He fought in France and participated in the brutal Battle of the Bulge.

One night in particular during that siege has stuck with him, as he shared with the Tampa Bay Times, “We didn’t have any idea of what was happening.

“I went up to the second floor with field glasses, looked around and saw Germans setting up mortars.”

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He spoke to an officer, an air strike was called in, and that particular German assault was ended. For his efforts during not just this battle but the entire war, in 2017 he was awarded the Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government.

While he was fortunate to make it through so many combat situation alive, he wasn’t left completely unmarked. He has his memories, of course, but he also has a twist of a scar on his left leg after it was hit by shrapnel.

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Still, to those in the room when the letter was opened, the reappearance of his dog tag may have been a bigger award. Fucarino told Fox News 13, “You could tell … when that dog tag came out, he was lit up with enjoyment and happiness and felt, I think, that he had come full circle with that dog tag. It was a beautiful thing.”

At some point during the battle, Sterns lost that tag. After the war it was picked up and eventually found its way into the hands of Jean Paul Mandier, a French collector.

Mandier did some research on the tag and quickly realized that Stern was still alive.

Mandier knew that the only thing he could do was to track him down and return this memento of a place to its brave owner. An owner who needed it perhaps now more than ever.

Though nothing could bring back his beloved wife or erase the loss he was experiencing, this was a timely reminder of the life he had lived, the experiences he had lived through, and the people he had known.

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