When Boris Stern was just a teenager he found himself overseas in Europe fighting in World War II. At some point during his time overseas he lost his dog tag.
“I thought I’d never see it again,” the 92-year-old told Fox 13 Tampa.
Recently he was reunited with it, thanks to a collector in France who wanted to get the tag back to its rightful owner.
It’s been more than seven decades since Stern lost his dog tag in France.
The other day Stern picked up a letter addressed to him at the post office. The letter had come from France.
The Battle of the Bulge veteran continued with his errands and made another stop at his town’s pharmacy. It was there that he discovered the contents of the letter.
He didn’t think he’d ever see it again.
While at the Carrollwood Pharmacy, the owner, Dan Fucarino, helped Stern open the envelope.
“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,” Fucarino recalled of the moment the two opened the letter.
Stern said Fucarino showed everyone in the store his dog tag because “it was a big deal.”
The dog tag was returned after a French collector stumbled upon it.
Jean Paul Mandier, a French relic collector, came across Stern’s dog tag and felt as though he should do his best to return the tag.
Mandier searched online and eventually had a friend who lived in Cincinnati help him find Stern. After a little detective work, the dog tag was on its way from France to Florida, where Stern resides.
Stern was happy to have the dog tag back in his possession.
When he finally had the dog tag back in his hands he said it brought back a lot of memories and as Fucarino put it, everything had come full circle.
Last year, Stern was awarded France’s highest distinction: Knight of the Legion of Honor.