July 19, 2011


I have a story to share…the kind of story that gives you goose bumps…

On Saturday, July 2nd, 2011 I had a "day date" w/ my friend Heidi in Putnam, CT. Roughly 25 mins from where I live. We had lunch @ 85 Main outside under the white Christmas lights dangling from the trees above. After lunch I was debating about needing to get back home or not to get my (well overdue) hair highlighted that afternoon before our friend's Jack & Jill party that evening. Before making a final decision Heidi suggested we browse the antique shops that surrounded us as we both LOVE antiquing! We can spend ours checking out all the furniture, jewelry, knick knacks, clothing & more! Im ALWAYS wondering what the story is behind each item…who's was it? where is it from? Ect ect ect. I am completely & utterly fascinated by the answers to those type of questions…Of course I can't think of the name of the antique shop right now but hope that Heidi can help me out w/ that once I hear from her. Anyway, we ended up browsing this one shop for at least an hour if not longer…taking our time walking down aisle after aisle and eyeing display case after display case… shortly before we left I noticed a pair of silver chained dog tags laying on a glass shelve that was locked up for safe keeping. I kept looking at them trying to see if I could read the name on the tags. Looking back I don’t know why I didn’t just ask the front counter to unlock the cabinet for me so I could take a closer look. I was able to finally read the warn out/scratched off name imprinted on the tags. "Paul L Yeager"….WWII. Whenever I don’t want to forget something I send myself a text to my work email so It will shake my memory the next day. So that's what I did…of course Im kicking myself right now for not buying them right on the spot. The next morning I emailed my Grandfather who lives in NC & fought in WWII to see if (I know it was a crazy long shot) he recognized the name at all…no luck there….so I began to search the name online and ended up coming across THIS website… http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohclecgs/cemeteries/stlouis/inscriptions.html If you scroll down to the "Y's" you will find Paul's name…. Paul L Yeager born Feb 23, 1920…..it's sad to say but, Paul passed away on Feb 22, 1991 just 1 day before his 71st birthday. If you look at the top of this website it reads "St. Louis Church Cemetery in Clermont County". Soooooo I searched this church & found out that it was located in Ohio! On the church website I found a contact email address for their front office & sent a note introducing myself & explaining my story, then asked if they thought it was the same person that was buried in their church cemetery. I also mentioned that I thought that maybe the family would want the dog tags back in their hands after who knows how many years….I didn’t hear back for a few weeks & decided to send a reminder email just this morning. The person who I contacted at the church got back to me apologizing as she had been on vacation for quite a while. Just a few mins later I received another email saying she had reached out to Paul's wife who was over the moon after hearing about all of this! She was very thankful & shared that Paul L Yeager stood for Paul Louis Yeager. She asked that I mail the dog tags directly to the church so she could have them. (Ive got goose bumps just typing this out!) She was very thankful for my research, time & effort which makes me smile! I can't even imagine what she must be thinking or how she must feel. All I know is, if my husband passed away or fought in any of our wars I would absolutely want a piece of his past that reminded me of him….This evening, Steve & I plan on going back to the antique shop to purchase the tags & mail them out as soon as possible…no doubt I will cry if they aren't there anymore. If they are still there, I'll cross my fingers that Mrs. Yeager reaches out to me one day to explain Paul's story. I wonder how the tags ended up in CT when she lives in OH? Why were they in an antique store in the first place? Did someone find them & sell them?....How long have they been there? Had the family been looking for them all this time? Stay tuned! I will for sure post an updated entry about my story in the near future! Feel free to share this w/ others!


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see thr "rest of the story"!
Love this!
Lynn Henson

elcw said...

Weird that he was born on MY birthday... huh? :o)
A date SO IMPORTANT to you. ;o) hahaha. JUST kidding. Super cool! How thoughtful to go buy them and send them to the family!

Care said...

can't wait for PART TWO!