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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Staten Island struggle hero is in search of assist returning a mysterious army souvenir to its unique proprietor.

Vietnam Struggle veteran Joseph Lospenuso was lately reunited with U.S. Military canine tags he acquired in 1971 after the unique army-issued ones went lacking, reviews CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

The tags had been misplaced proper after the damage that earned him a Purple Coronary heart and different medals.

The Brooklyn native was defending his lieutenant. As they crouched down, an enemy bullet pierced his foot. He nonetheless has the boot.

“The bullet went within the backside of my foot and out the highest,” mentioned Lospenuso.

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After recovering, getting married, having youngsters, and relocating to Staten Island as a metropolis bus driver, these tags not often left his neck for almost 50 years.

“I really feel unhealthy for all of the individuals who by no means got here again,” he mentioned.

Two years in the past, the tags disappeared whereas on a household journey.

“I took them off my neck forgot and about them,” mentioned Lospenuso. “I misplaced them in a lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Fairly upset about that.”

The tags had been gone eternally – or so he thought till he acquired the decision {that a} new head of housekeeping discovered them within the lodge’s foremost workplace.

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Now that he has them again.

“I’ll by no means take them off my neck by no means, ever, ever,” he mentioned. “They’ll be round my neck eternally.”

The story doesn’t finish there: Additionally within the bundle mailed to him from the lodge was another person’s army souvenir that they in all probability simply assumed was his.

Engraved to recollect another, unnamed struggle hero from the identical period.

“This canine tag that acquired despatched to me needs to be somebody’s grandchild,” mentioned Lospenuso. “It says, ‘My Grandfather, My Hero,’ in order that chokes me up immediately. Then it truly has the grandfather’s fingerprint on it, and the day he was born and the day he died. And it says, ‘To Poppy.’”

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Lospenuso says discovering the unique proprietor is now a patriotic “pay it ahead” mission for him.

“I simply hope I can get again to whoever this belongs to,” he mentioned.

He hopes somebody acknowledges the very distinctive merchandise so he can shut the guide on the one lingering thriller that hitched a journey on his pleased story of misplaced and located.


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