With events unfolding which could have come out of Hollywood cinema, the family of a World War II veteran will receive his dogtags, lost for more than 60 years in Europe.
Harry Edward Brown, who passed away in 2010, served in World War II in the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Somehow his dogtags were lost during his time in Europe, only to be found when Mark van der Pol used a metal detector along a beach in the Netherlands where operation "Market Garden" took place.
Dennis Jennings, secretary of the Sac and Fox Nation Veteran's Organization, has been working as the spokesman for the Brown family, and collaborated with the van der Pol family to get them to Oklahoma so the dogtags may be returned.
"We're all still in disbelief," Jennings said. "It's amazing."
Jennings, who is also a relative of Brown, has fond memories of him.
Jennings said Brown was trained as a cook and a baker in the military, and that Brown continued to enjoy baking for the rest of his life.
"He could make a really good pie," Jennings said with a chuckle.
After Brown finished his military career in 1950, he returned to Shawnee where he lived until retirement. He worked as plumber, electrician, and carpenter, and owned his own business.
Brown also continued baking for his family and friends, Jennings said.
The van der Pols are expected to come to the United States to return the dogtags at the end of May, in time for Memorial Day. During their time in Oklahoma, the van der Pols will be recognized at a veteran's ceremony at the Sac and Fox Nation reservation, five miles south of Stroud.
Veterans, and especially World War II veterans, are invited to attend the ceremony, Jennings said.