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Rooster
01-09-2007, 04:35 PM
Man's wallet returned after 62 years

MEXICO, Mo. (AP) Ray Heilwagen has his wallet back, 62 years after he lost it in France during World War II. Late last year, Heilwagen received a call from Stephen Breitenstein of Palatine, Ill.
"He said, 'Did you lose a billfold?' and I remembered I did," Heilwagen told the Hannibal Courier-Post. "Then he said, 'I found it and will send it to you.'

"I could hardly believe it."

Breitenstein's father, who also served in France during World War II, recently died. Digging through his father's possessions ironically on Veteran's Day Stephen Breitenstein found the old wallet. He figured his dad found it during the war and brought it home, hoping to find the owner. Not knowing how to do so, he left it in a drawer for more than six decades.

Using the Internet, Breitenstein tracked down Heilwagen. After their phone conversation, he mailed the wallet to him.

"He sent it to me, and I received it in very good order," Heilwagen said. "It had everything in it (French) francs and pictures and my original Social Security card and some receipts."

The wallet also included an article from the Courier-Post (Heilwagen grew up in Hannibal, Mo.) that his parents had mailed to him during the war.

Heilwagen was in the Army's 79th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, which reached France in July 1944. He was injured and hospitalized that November with a leg injury. He received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

"We were in combat continuously, every day almost," he recalled. "We were in a battle and received small arms fire, then a German mortar came in and exploded. It blew me into the river, and I had about five pieces of shrapnel in my right leg."

As medics helped him in the field, Heilwagen recalled pulling out his billfold to look at pictures. The next day, he was taken to a French hospital, where the shrapnel was removed.

"They were getting ready to ship me out to another hospital, and I looked for my billfold, and it was gone," said Heilwagen, who was later discharged and returned to Missouri. He retired after a 39-year career with Southwestern Bell Telephone.

As for Breitenstein, "I was impressed that a stranger would go to such trouble to locate me and return my wallet," Heilwagen said.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2007-01-09-wallet_x.htm

RJ
01-09-2007, 04:43 PM
That's a great story, Rooster. Thanks for sharing it.

KCChiefsMan
01-09-2007, 04:43 PM
huh

Buck
01-09-2007, 04:44 PM
Why would a town name itself Mexico?

Phobia
01-09-2007, 04:44 PM
Hey - I wonder if anybody will bring my Yukon back one day.

HemiEd
01-09-2007, 04:50 PM
Hey - I wonder if anybody will bring my Yukon back one day.

You beat me to it, that was exactly what I was going to post, dang it.

Baby Lee
01-09-2007, 04:55 PM
That's why you want a name like Heilwagen in instances such as this, not Smith or Jones.

hawkchief
01-09-2007, 05:00 PM
I bet the condoms were in pretty bad shape.

jAZ
01-09-2007, 05:05 PM
Why would a town name itself Mexico?
Big-time Michael Vick fans there.

Phobia
01-09-2007, 05:12 PM
Breitenstein had Heilwagen's wallet. You'd think it would be the other way around - the Kraut stole the Jew's wallet.

Bob Dole
01-09-2007, 05:29 PM
Why would a town name itself Mexico?

You should pose that question to Mexico, MO's most famous son, Kit Bond.

TinyEvel
01-09-2007, 05:48 PM
Maybe that guy in France can find us a playoff win. Or maybe even just find our offense.

Orlandochiefsgrl
01-09-2007, 06:08 PM
I wonder if he gave him a reward for that? I am sure he also paid for the shipping, but it never mentions it.

KurtCobain
01-09-2007, 06:11 PM
wow

Count Alex's Losses
01-09-2007, 06:11 PM
Some bastard tore a wing off my dinoriders pterodactyl in primary school and threw it over the fence. Someday...

Skip Towne
01-09-2007, 06:14 PM
Hey - I wonder if anybody will bring my Yukon back one day.
Si, Senor.

stumppy
01-09-2007, 06:16 PM
Some bastard tore a wing off my dinoriders pterodactyl in primary school and threw it over the fence. Someday...

If it hasn't turned up in a couple of weeks you'll probably never get it back.

Halfcan
01-09-2007, 06:44 PM
"Here son, this is a brand new $5.00 for your trouble."

Road Hog
01-09-2007, 07:28 PM
What a bunch of Ungrateful Bastards you are!

Phobia
01-09-2007, 07:30 PM
I'm grateful you capitalized "Bastards". It's a sign of respect.

Skip Towne
01-09-2007, 07:31 PM
Some bastard tore a wing off my dinoriders pterodactyl in primary school and threw it over the fence. Someday...
He stole your lunch money too didn't he?

Bob Dole
01-09-2007, 07:37 PM
The coolest part is that the finder didn't include a note berating him as some sort of misguided brainwashed murderer.

Orlandochiefsgrl
01-09-2007, 08:19 PM
"By the way, thanks for saving my Dad"

Count Alex's Losses
01-09-2007, 08:49 PM
He stole your lunch money too didn't he?

I didn't have lunch money. Lunch was free.